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No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Faith in an Age of Advanced Reproduction Paperback – January 31, 2012
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“[No Easy Choice] is much more than memoir and more like an extended ‘case study,’ but not one written by a health care professional or clergy in training. Rather, it turns the tables, and is written by the ‘case’ herself, a parent of faith carrying a very risky gene who is trying to deal with the worlds of science, theology, and culture. I learned a lot and felt honored to be invited into the intimacy and capacity to deal with that wider intersection that happens at the beginning of life itself.”
―William C. Gaventa, Associate Professor, The Elizabeth M. Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities , UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and author of Spirituality and Intellectual Disability
“This is a most thoroughgoing evaluation of questions that will absorb prospective parents, doctors, pastors, and those who counsel couples about in vitro fertilization and genetic testing. Anyone reading it will come away better informed on such vital choices challenging our culture.”
―Virginia Stem Owens, author of Caring for Mother: A Daughter’s Long Goodbye
“In No Easy Choice, Ellen Painter Dollar sets out to provide a guide for Christians considering reproductive technology. She succeeds, and then some. Weaving together an honest and touching personal narrative with ethical and theological insight, Dollar writes about a complex topic in simple terms. No Easy Choice should provoke thought, prayer, and discussion from any Christian who wants to engage the most pressing ethical concerns of the 21st century.”
―Amy Julia Becker, author of A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny
“Ellen Painter Dollar is a consummate storyteller with a consuming story to tell. She is also a gifted journalist. In No Easy Choice, she has combined those skills to produce a gripping account of her family’s engagement with one of the pressing questions of our time. Chock full of informed and candid insights, this one is a page turner.”
―Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why
“No Easy Choice is a painfully wise book about the pain of having children whose life will be filled with pain. It is also a book of hope because its author never tries to say more than can be said about why some children are so born. This is a must read, not only for those considering prenatal genetic diagnosis and intervention, but for all concerned with the ethics of PGD. It’s a terrific book.”
―Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity School, and author of God, Medicine, and the Problem of Suffering
"The book is both a challenge and a blessing for those who see the beauty that human disability brings to the world and the deep and troubling truths that it reveals about our societies. Moving, touching, personal, and filled with deep Christian spirituality, Dollar’s book will move hearts and make a difference."
―John Swinton, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen
“This book is a welcome antidote to dry academic reflection on the ethics of PGD. The author walks us through her difficult decisions about using reproductive technologies in the face of having her children inherit a painful medical condition, cutting through the certitudes of those who do not have to face these choices themselves. Those pondering the use of reproductive technologies and those concerned with the ethics of these technologies can both benefit from reading this book.”
―John H. Evans, Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego, and author of Contested Reproduction: Genetic Technologies, Religion and Public Debate
“It is definitely an easy choice to recommend No Easy Choice to Christians, all people of faith, and anyone else wrestling with parenting and living with disability in our technological age!”
―Amos Yong, Professor of Theology, Regent University, and author of The Bible, Disability, and the Church
"I am grateful for Dollar's skill and honesty as a writer, and moved by her story that is so clearly marked by truth and grace. I urge everyone who cares about Christian faithfulness in our time to read, ponder, and share this book."
―Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
"Prepare yourself for a compelling, moving, and difficult journey. Elegantly written, this is a book of sheer genius born out of a story of pain, complexity, and faithfulness. This is book worth reading and rereading."
―Ian S. Markham, Dean and President, Virginia Theological Seminary
About the Author
Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer and mother of three living in West Hartford, Connecticut. She has written about faith, motherhood, and disability for a variety of organizations, publications, and blogs, including Christianity Today, the American Medical Association, the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation, the Hartford Courant, and the Episcopal Cafe. She currently blogs at Patheos.com. Visit her Web site at www.ellenpainterdollar.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Part of my background is in adoption -- as a parent of a child with a disability and professionally as a social worker. "No Easy Choice" provided a broader and deeper picture of having children and being a parent. I have always valued stories and know it is important to hear not just one story (especially when it is my own) in order to broaden one's view; this book affirmed that and more. While there are perspectives here that are not mine, I learned much and appreciate knowing more about an arena in which fundamental parts of who we are, what we believe and how we make choices have roots and bear fruit.
The prose is in "No Easy Choice" is fluid and, at times, touchingly beautiful. The information is broad in scope and delivered with an even and gentle hand. I heartily recommend this book for those for whom taking a look at life from various angles makes for a sharper picture or, perhaps, just fosters a feeling of understanding oneself and others. Life, after all, seems best when we share it and I closed the final pages of this book feeling both connected and informed, better equipped to make choices and support others who are making them too.
Second, and what made me so cherish the book, was Painter Dollar's story of what it's like to be a woman with a physical disability, as well as a wife and a mother. Such stories aren't told enough. Painter Dollar's honest anecdotes about living with a genetic bone disorder will touch a chord with anyone who considers herself different from what society considers "the ideal." Her stories let us know, thank God, that we're not alone. And we can succeed. My favorite line from this poignant book? "A new ability to see my body as capable and worthy, beautiful and powerful, is one of the surprise gifts of motherhood." What mother can't relate to that?