Review: Chosen by Chandra Hoffman

31 Aug

ChosenMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

There was so much I liked about this book, but the combination of characters just got to be too much at times.

From the HarperCollins website:

It all begins with a fantasy: the caseworker in her “signing paperwork” charcoal suit standing alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn, set against a fluorescent-lit delivery-room backdrop. It’s this blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of the Chosen Child’s domestic-adoption program, happy while juggling the high demands of her boss and the incessant needs of both adoptive and biological parents.

But the very job that offers her refuge from her turbulent personal life and Portland’s winter rains soon becomes a battleground involving three very different couples: the Novas, well-off college sweethearts who suffered fertility problems but are now expecting their own baby; the McAdoos, a wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and Jason and Penny, an impoverished couple who have nothing—except the baby everyone wants. When a child goes missing, dreams dissolve into nightmares, and everyone is forced to examine what he or she really wants and where it all went wrong.

Told from alternating points of view, Chosen reveals the desperate nature of desire across social backgrounds and how far people will go to get the one thing they think will be the answer.

There was some interesting insight and reflection on the world of domestic infant adoption, and I really liked that we had the perspectives of birth parents, adoptive parents and a social worker.

The problem I had with this book was that the characters were all a little larger than life. I believe that there are people in real life like each and every person in this book, but it felt a little crowded in there with all of these strong personalities.

One birth mother is an angelically sweet woman, relinquishing her baby so she can better take care of her toddler. The other is a conflicted young woman, giving into pressure from her scum-ball of a boyfriend to give up their baby.

The adoptive mother to be is an obsessed woman who spends all her time on Internet adoption sites, the adoptive father a workaholic absent from most of the story.

I think that Chloe was supposed to be a person the reader could identify with, but her engagement to an unemployed extreme sports aficionado and her attraction to one of her ex-clients pushed her over the edge for me.

The issues they all encounter are real, and the stories are interesting. I think I would have liked it better if it was a little less dramatic, but I still felt it was worth reading.  I think this could make for interesting book club discussion.

Nicole at Linus’s Blanket also reviewed The Chosen, it worked better for her than it did for me.

I picked up this book (or rather a card that allowed me to download this book to my Nook) from the publisher at BEA.  Thank you to Harper Collins.


Posted by on August 31, 2010 in Uncategorized


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4 responses to “Review: Chosen by Chandra Hoffman

  1. Marce

    August 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

    This one sounds interesting, i’m intrigued, and I haven’t read a book similar to storyline, I may give this a go.

    great honest review.

  2. Sue Jackson

    August 31, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Hmmm…sounds like a good premise, but I know what you mean about too many larger-than-life characters – it just doesn’t feel real enough when that happens in a novel.

    Thanks for the review!


  3. Jenny

    September 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I saw this at the store the other day and thought it looked good but I have way too many books to even think about buying it. I’m thinking I might like it still because I usually end up liking the drama if it’s not too bad. But definitely sounds like it’s not one I need to RUSH out and get!


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