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VINE VOICEon July 17, 2006
There were times when this book read like a script for Lifetime Television for Women movie. A couple of over-the-top characters and some far-fetched plot devices caused me to roll my eyes more than a few times.

Having said that I must admit, I was totally suckered into this story. There were times I couldn't put this book down. The author does a great job drawing the reader into the story. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Some readers will most likely not care for this, as the Christians in this book are not portrayed in a good light. However, it's still a very entertaining book, great for a summer beach read. Enjoy!
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on May 16, 2015
While there were some things about this book I didn't enjoy-the anti-religion vibes, for example. That's a major one-the moment I picked up this book, I found it compelling. It held my attention extremely well and I had the overwhelming desire to keep reading, to finish it. I needed to know what happened, and I really liked it. It's well written, and a good, original story.
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on March 21, 2012
Goodreads Description- To a penniless twenty-year-old like Jamie Long, surrogate motherhood seemed both an act of altruism and a financial opportunity. But once pregnant and under contract to Amanda Hartmann, the head of a famous evangelical family, Jamie realizes that she's getting more than she bargained for. Whisked away to the vast, isolated family ranch, she's closely supervised and carefully cut off from the outside world. She learns the family's dark secrets -- and sees the enormity of their ruthlessness. When Jamie hears Amanda's plan to claim the baby as her natural-born child, she begins to suspect that her own life is in danger and resolves to flee.
Alone with a tiny newborn, she calls on the one man in the world she can trust -- her high school crush, Joe Brammer. Their love unites them in a struggle to escape, and soon enough their flight becomes a fight for their lives.

The Surrogate is the story of Jamie Long, a poor young woman, who enters into a contract with a very rich family, the Hartmanns, to become a surrogate mother for Amanda Hartman. Amanda is a popular televangelist who, along with her brother controlling things from the background, raises funds for Evangelical Christian political candidates, as they believe that the US would best be served by Christians who believe in the laws of God. Jamie doesn't realize just how deep in trouble she has gotten herself. After becoming pregnant, Jamie is taken to a secluded ranch where she is to be confined with no external contact for the length of her pregnancy. During this time, Jamie realizes that Amanda is not who she claims she is. Amanda is going to claim Jamie's baby as her biological own and plans to get rid of any evidence that the baby was adopted, including Jamie. Jamie makes her escape and has the baby and the rest of the plot revolves around Jamie and her old friend Joe running for their lives from the Hartmann henchmen.

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It cleverly weaves the story of a surrogate mother with the politics of the day. It is clear that the author's story is meant to be an attack on politics in the US today. There are many Evangelical Christians who actively work behinid the scenes to raise funds for candidates that will do their bidding while in office. The book definitely alluded to the presidency of George Bush Jr. who seemed to not actually be making his own decisions but had cabinet members with stronger political power pushing him in the direction that they wanted. I believe the same things as the author so I definitely liked the book and her message of separation of church and state and that powerful people can become dangerous people. I don't believe in conspiracy theories, but the story defintely reflects what is actually happening in our country with politics. The writing is wonderful and the characters are fully developed. Even the character's descriptions were analogies to the messages of the book or to the character's actions. The author has written one terrific book! 5 stars!
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2007
The Surrogate is a story of a young woman with financial problems contracting with a rich family as a surrogate mother to produce a baby. She finds that there are deeper mysteries and hidden motivations during the pregnancy, hightails it away from the isolation she agreed to, and tries to escape the family's wrath, baby in tow.

It is intense, a well-paced story, and a believable rendition of a frantic surrogate on the run.

The bad guy, however, is the classic ultra-rich, orders people killed, has hitmen always around to do his bidding, women on command, government in his pocket, et cetera, kind of guy. In other words, he is hard to escape. Use an ATM or make a phone call? You are located. Stay too long at one place? The black vans show up.

This is a nifty story about the concerns and trials of a surrogate working with a very weird family. The weirdness of the family detracts from the story. Consider this book briefly entertaining.
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on January 20, 2010
To a penniless twenty-year-old like Jamie Long, surrogate motherhood seemed both an act of altruism and a financial opportunity. But once pregnant and under contract to Amanda Hartmann, the head of a famous evangelical family, Jamie realizes that she's getting more than she bargained for. Whisked away to the vast, isolated family ranch, she's closely supervised and carefully cut off from the outside world. She learns the family's dark secrets -- and sees the enormity of their ruthlessness. When Jamie hears Amanda's plan to claim the baby as her natural-born child, she begins to suspect that her own life is in danger and resolves to flee.
Alone with a tiny newborn, she calls on the one man in the world she can trust -- her high school crush, Joe Brammer. Their love unites them in a struggle to escape, and soon enough their flight becomes a fight for their lives.

Brilliantly weaving some of today's most controversial social issues into a captivating page-turner, The Surrogate is Judith Henry Wall's greatest triumph to date.
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on February 4, 2014
This subject has been used before but never like this. Read this and know that things are not always as they seem.
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on June 2, 2006
I loved this book and couldn't put it down! It was the cause of a couple of late nights, that's for sure. I loved the characters, they were very diverse and creative. The author makes Christian leaders seem a little like nuts, and maybe that's the only problem I had with this book, but for the content of the story it was needed. It was just a really good book and will keep you reading just to find out how it finally ends. Definite five star!
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on April 8, 2007
The book starts off alittle slow, but picks up very fast. it was so hard to put it down, i always wanted to find out what was happening next. i just finished today, and i love the book. i highly recommend this book. Jamie Long the main character in the book is a brave girl.
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on July 25, 2007
Try as I might, I still can't stifle my perpetual yawn having read Judith Henry Wall's THE SURROGATE. Excited to see an Oklahoma author with a Simon & Schuster trade paperback title, I began this book with great expectations. Yet I was instantly disappointed by writing that was trite, uninspired, and one-dimensional--prose as flat as the Texas panhandle where much of this novel is based. And what makes matters worse is this tired prose tries to tell the story of a young mother on the run from some nasty Bible thumpers; and the implausible ending is an absolute howler.

As to her villains, Ms. Wall unimaginatively perpetuates the stereotype of evil evangelicals--abusive hypocrites who wield their power over the masses by influencing elections and presidents. The result is one series of contrived cliches after another--trite storytelling that is literally agonizing to read. And the dialogue? How's this as a corny and hapless example?

"You are my hero. And you are the only man that I've ever loved and ever plan to love."

"And you are the love of my life. We are going to get through this, Jamie. We have to."

Quick. Give me some gravel to gargle so I can get the icky taste out of my mouth. But alas, such is the myopic nature of this alleged romantic thriller. And as an observation to lend credibility to the story, no one will ever find a Gen Xer named Joe or Lester; nor will any young 21st Century mother name her infant Sally Ann. Such is the annoying nature of the reading experience THE SURROGATE so aptly provides.
--D. Mikels, Author, THE RECKONING
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on February 23, 2010
Okay, the ending is implausible, but the steps leading to it are entirely believable and scary in a conspiracy-theory kind of way. The evangelical preacher type who really seems to believe what she is saying (and has blinders on when it comes to the real-world evil her family is capable of), the smart, yet naive young girl and her emotional ride through a surrogacy, the evil governmental puppet-master...well his story (especially the ending) is the part where you kind of question the story. Still, it was a very entertaining story for a day home in bed and sick.
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