Recently I received Joel Ohman’s new book, Other Bodies, to review from FlyBy/Propeller Promotions. It’s quite different from my usual reading material, but I’d like to let you know about my experiences with it.
About Other Bodies
Other Bodies is a dystopian-esque YA fiction book written from a pro-life perspective. It shares a slice of the life of Hattie; a brief recounting of her recent experiences and choices, as well as a significant choice that she doesn’t know is before her.
The world Hattie lives in is inner-city Philadelphia many years in the future. Poverty is widespread, jobs are scarce, and 16-year-old Hattie is alone. She just lost her elderly grandfather, her only surviving relative, whose health had been suffering for some time. She finally has a job, though; at a medical facility called Managed Motherhood. She’s been newly hired as as a medical aide. She likes her new boss, Matilda, and Sally-Anne. She finds her work interesting.
As part of Hattie’s training, Matilda introduces her to the virtual reality machines, called TEDs, that a person can climb into and travel anywhere, experience everything. And what are those doing in a medical facility? Patients climb into them and go on a VR trip while they’re having surgery. The TEDs also can do medical full-body scans, perform medical procedures, and verify or discover diagnoses while the patient is virtually hang-gliding over beautiful mountains or relaxing in the sun, to the sound of waves whispering on a sandy beach.
It’s in one of those TED machines, where Hattie is trying out the technology under Matilda’s instruction, that she finds out she’s pregnant as the TED machine scans her while she’s inside, experiencing hang-gliding for the first time.
After the death of her grandfather, Hattie was pursued by a handsome young man, who promptly walked out of her life once he’d wooed her into sleeping with him. She’s living alone in an apartment that doesn’t have much in it, formerly unemployed and now making a small salary with Manged Motherhood, who also provides abortions. Hattie chooses to abort.
If I told you the rest of the story, I’d be giving away too many spoilers. But there are a lot of unexpected events and personages that show up, who are affected in some way by Hattie’s choice. The book is written in a dual-setting environment, where we see Hattie and her coworkers, acquaintances, and former boyfriend; then occasionally we see a couple of other characters, in an undisclosed location, observing and experiencing portions of Hattie’s life.
What I thought
This is a tough book. I’m a person who loves a happy ending and I can’t tell you that you’ll find that in this book…although there are hints that it might happen at some point. But it does tell some of the other side of the story of women in this situation.
Hattie is in a tough spot. She’s pretty much on her own. She has no one to help guide her through her decision, or the heartbreaking journey and events she experiences afterward.
As a woman of faith, I missed the hope that is waiting for all of us in the worst of our situations. God really does love us all so much, and, as in a verse I love, “Indeed, the Lord’s hand is not too short to save,
and His ear is not too deaf to hear.” (Isaiah 59:1 HCSB) Though some of the characters know this, Hattie has no idea. As far as she can tell, she is all alone. There might be a chance for her to save her baby after all…but can she?
Other Bodies tells the story of a young teen faced with a choice and its devastating aftereffects.
More about Joel Ohman:
Thanks for stopping by! –Wren
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this book for me to read and review. The opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.