Tom's Reviews > Hush Little Baby

Hush Little Baby by Deborah M. Piccurelli
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Aug 21, 2012

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Read on August 21, 2012

I received this book as a winner in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. The book is a fast read: I was able to get through it in about 2 hours, or 1 sitting. Please do not read this review if you don't want spoilers.

I won't rehash the plot line summary, since the book description is pretty spot-on. The little person angle in the book is an interesting one, though I'm not sure how important it is in terms of the overall plot. While it gives an extra dimension to the story overall, the story wouldn't change too much if this particular plot device was removed at first glance. I'm not sure if the author was just trying to convey that being a little person is no different than being "average-sized," except for some of the things they need to compensate for, such as beds and shelves that are too high. Or, if Ms. Piccurelli was just trying to give readers a sense of what it's like to live with that medical condition. Either way, by the end of the book, the theme did become important.

One thing I don't like in novels is when authors browbeat you with their religious beliefs. In the case of this book, the religion aspect of it is not too bad, at least in comparison to some other books I have tried to read that didn't even give a warning in advance. If events in the book were "actually occurring," I would think anyone decent human being would feel compelled to act, regardless of their religious beliefs.

In terms of the abortion issue that is the main focus of the book, in my opinion, I do not know first hand how scientifically accurate the author's depiction of a typical abortion is. I would find it very hard to believe that such a procedure would be done as described with so little lack of scientific protocol in terms of unnecessary exposure of fetal tissue to airborne pathogens, just for example. In terms of the plot, it did not seem very plausible to have someone hired as an abortion counselor to then be given more work by what seems to be the 2nd day in a clinic by helping to prepare fetal tissue specimens for delivery, or of having an actual living, breathing, screaming baby aborted into a bucket and then drowned to be harvested for parts. At the same time, there are people who didn't believe (and some who still don't) the Holocaust was occurring while WW II was being fought, and that turned out to be true too. When the science in a scene is suspect, it implies the rest of the information is unreliable as well. I do not know how much research the author did when writing her scenes, but I would suggest firming up more of the little details which add authenticity to the storyline.

However your beliefs go, the book has a decent plot overall. If I read the book in one sit down, it can't be that bad. =) As I said before though, I think the religion aspect actually takes away from the horrors depicted in the book, rather than add to it. One of the characters in the book mentions the fact that some people will take up arms and protest for the environment or world peace or hunger, but still thinks it's ok to approve of abortion. If people want to open that can of worms though, the next sentence out of the character's mouth should be, "How many people have died today because of someone's religious beliefs?" As I also alluded to also, people don't need to have religion to try and do the right thing. We live in a complex society, where there are no cut and dried answers. I do appreciate that the author was able to make me think about such complex issues at 3am while still on sleep medication. I do think that if anyone ever read this book and then had to face a difficult choice in regards to a pregnancy, they would definitely think on it a whole lot more before deciding one way or the other. If that was the author's overall intention, it was a good one, and for this reader at least, successful.
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