Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two Completely Opposite Books

Over spring break, I finished two books. These two books could not have more opposite from one another.

The first book was As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised As a Girl by John Colapinto. This book is a true story about a set of male twins born in the 1960's. At eight months old, the boys were scheduled for routine circumcisions. However, The doctor performing the circumcisions was not the normal doctor. Bruce went first and during the procedure the doctor "messed up" and basically burned off Bruce's penis. Of course, they did not continue with the circumcision for Brian, Bruce's brother. Bruce's parents were horrified of the sight of their mangled son and weren't sure what to do. Doctor's and specialists all told them that he wouldn't "fit in" anywhere since he would not be able to live a normal male life. While watching TV one day, they saw a psychologist talking about sex changes and transgender identity. The doctor fully believed in nurture over nature and believed that a child is born as a blank slate and could be raised as either a boy or a girl. This is where the story begins....

Obviously, I found this book enlightening. I was horrified that this medical professional could be so close minded to other's research and points of view. I was angry for much of the reading, but I do not regret reading it. I was amazed at how the Nature vs. Nurture debate has been carried out over the years and (in some circles) is still being debated today. I had began angry at the parent's, but later realized just how powerless they felt and how much they believed what they were doing was right. I would only recommend this book if you find interest in this topic and are curious. Otherwise, it isn't a book I would just read for the entertainment value.

In 1967, after a twin baby boy suffered a botched circumcision, his family agreed to a radical treatment that would alter his gender. The case would become one of the most famous in modern medicine—and a total failure. As Nature Made Him tells the extraordinary story of David Reimer, who, when finally informed of his medical history, made the decision to live as a male. A macabre tale of medical arrogance, it is first and foremost a human drama of one man's—and one family's—amazing survival in the face of terrible odds.

The second book was The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright. The story begins with the unexpected death of both Jack and Laurel Cooper. B&B owners and parents to three grown children. As the children come together in the small town their parents called home, they discover boxes of letters that Jack has written to Laurel during the 40 years they were married...one letter each week. These letters open up an old family secret that shakes the children to the core.

I loved this sweet little story. It was simply written, easy to read and I was very connected to the characters. A great quick read for someone looking for a heart-warming story.

Jack and Laurel Cooper are two hardworking, loving Christian pillars of the community who die in each other's arms one night in the bed-and-breakfast that they own and operate. The event calls their three grown children home for the funeral, including their youngest son, a fugitive from the law who must face an outstanding warrant for his arrest and confront his one true love, now engaged to another man. As events unfold around the funeral, the three children discover a treasure trove of family history in the form of Wednesday letters-notes that Jack wrote to his wife every single week of their married lives. As they read, the children brush across the fabric of a devoted marriage that survived a devastating event kept secret all these years.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

The first book I am going to have to pass on for now. My emotions are in high swing and I may just cry myself into a coma with that one. The other one though, "The Wednesday Letters" sounds endearing and I would LOVE to read it! Thanks for the synopsis! : )

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