The Redemption of Madelyne by Sheila K. Milam

The Redemption of Madelyne

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In this polemical novel, two young women become devastated by their abortions; one spirals downward and the other finds healing through Jesus.

Nicole Reese grows up, apparently in the late 1960s and early ’70s, learning that her role in life is to take advantage of her looks and marry well. She succeeds in wedding her boss’s son, Richard Franklin; the relationship soon ends in divorce, but not before Nicole has a baby, Matthew. Accompanied by her best friend, Madelyne Hall, who seeks modeling work, Nicole moves from her small town to Seattle. Both find jobs and Maddie continues her on-and-off affair with a destructive boyfriend. The two young women enjoy the nightlife, so much that Nicole begins neglecting Matthew, leaving him at day care almost around the clock. After a health scare involving her son and a talk with the day care’s director—a high school friend whose religiosity once discomfited her—Nicole is encouraged to pray. She argues against abortion with Maddie and her friends, who “spouted stuff about women’s lib and sexual awareness,” but has one herself after an unwanted pregnancy. Maddie, meanwhile, goes insane and overdoses from guilt after her late-term abortion. Nicole finds support in Micah Anderson, unofficial adopted son of her landlady, who leads her in prayer to Jesus; they marry, and she gives inspirational talks against abortion. Milam (Sparring Partners, 2010) does a good job building out Nicole’s world through copious details (for example, of her wedding) and showing her thought processes. Her emotional and spiritual progress will probably appeal to readers who already agree with the author’s take on issues, but she’s unlikely to persuade others, especially those who don’t agree that medical and legal decisions should be based on the Bible. Further, Milam doesn’t consider a wider context for post-abortion despair, like the effect of a crazy man screaming “Baby killer—murderer—worshipper of Molech” outside the clinic. She doesn’t disclose that her cited sources proving post-abortion harm come from the likes of David Reardon (a noted anti-abortion activist), nor does she note well-conducted studies showing different conclusions.

Anti-abortion readers should find this dramatic story of sin and redemption moving.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5127-5429-2
Page count: 260pp
Publisher: Westbow Press
Program: Kirkus Indie
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