The Reunion

Monday, March 3, 2014

Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo

My Review

Jenny’s husband, Gabe, dies as he pushes her from the path of an oncoming truck. They have been happily married for two years, and Jenny has just discovered that she is pregnant. It was an unintentional pregnancy. Gabe has two college-age children from his first marriage, and, at the time of their marriage, he and Jenny had both denied any interest in having children. As Gabe lies in the hospital, Jenny miscarries.

When her husband is declared to be brain dead, Jenny is called on to make decisions. She must decide whether to disconnect Gabe from life support. She is asked to donate his organs. Even though he was a physician, he left no directives.

Jenny consents to removing him from life support. She donates all of his organs that can be used. She asks that his sperm be collected so that she can be artificially inseminated and have his child, even though he has died.

Jenny finds that people have strong feelings concerning her plans, and the author does an excellent job as she presents an array of reactions. Nearby sperm banks refuse to accept the sperm because her brain dead husband had not given his consent to have them stored. Gabe’s uncle objects to the termination of life support, to organ donation, and to the collection of Gabe’s sperm. He sues to prevent Jenny from being inseminated. The press senses a sensational story. She has difficulty finding an attorney who will represent her. Steve, her next door neighbor who has had a crush on Jenny since she and Gabe moved in, finds the idea of insemination to be disgusting. In contrast, Jenny’s mother and Judith, Gabe’s first wife, are totally supportive.

As the case unfolds in court, family secrets are revealed. Jenny ultimately must decide if she really wants a child or whether she wants a child simply as a means to hang on to her husband.

Although it would never have occurred to me that Jenny’s plan would have caused her any difficulty at all, I ultimately understood some of the negative reactions, although I did not sympathize with them. Gabe’s uncle still strikes me as a vindictive, bitter old man. Steve still seems to me to be an insensitive, insecure clod! I somehow do not believe that the author intended me to feel this way about Steve, but I’m just saying…When you finish the book you will unerstand!

Just Destiny is an excellent book! It is well-written and so believable, an absorbing story, one that is difficult to put down. The conclusion is satisfactory, although I would have preferred a different ending.

Theresa Rizzo’s first book He Belongs to Me, was outstanding. In Just Destiny, she has another winner!


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