Thursday, September 4, 2014

Book Review: Eli's Reach by Chad Judice [Clinton Wilcox]

Special thanks to Acadian House Publishing for the free book for review. Go here for my review of his first book, Waiting for Eli.

Eli's Reach continues where Waiting for Eli left off: after the birth of Eli, a child diagnosed with spina bifida in the womb. To be honest, while this book is a nice book that illustrates some of the trials that come with raising a child with spina bifida, it really feels more like an advertisement for Waiting for Eli than it does a sequel to it. It's still good for some updates on Eli, but at several points during the book he talks about people who "bought and enjoyed" his first book, Waiting for Eli.

His books have helped people in their faith and in the pro-life positon, and that's great. But don't expect an intellectually robust defense of the position in this book. For example, on page 81 we read about a struggle that a couple was having because their child was diagnosed with anencephaly. They told the doctor that they're just "living on faith," and when the doctor questioned the wisdom of their actions, they got angry and stormed out, rather than engaging the doctor. Yes, it's wrong to abort a child with anencephaly; but for those who disagree we have compelling reasons for this. We don't have to get angry when someone questions our views because we have good responses to them. The doctor told the couple that their child would not survive, and they responded that they were hoping for a miracle from God (one that never came, because the child still died shortly after childbirth, just as the doctor told them he/she would). We don't have to get offended when abortion is mentioned because we have compelling reasons for our position.

The book, itself, is not very well-written. It feels more like Judice is just reporting the facts, and doesn't really try to add any creativity to his writing. The few times that he does he relies on cliches to try and spice up his book.

So Eli's Reach really isn't a necessary book in the long run. If you read Waiting for Eli without reading this book, Eli's story will have served its purpose. In short, if you only read one of these two books, just read Waiting for Eli.

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