|helping dad clean his new Alden boots|
|where did that come from!?|
|self-portrait - he's really into using the camera.|
|cape (he's captain hook - notice the "hook" on his right hand)|
הוֹדוּ לַיהוָה כִּי-טוֹב כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ
O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good, for His mercy endureth for ever.
I have to completely disagree. I think it's incredibly narrow to judge the book's quality by the type of pro-lifers written - and violent pro-lifers do exist, they are not an invention of the author, so why would you object to that being covered? You also neglected to mention the more moderate pro-lifer in the book - the doctor's son, who objects very strongly to his father's activities!
I personally do not support abortion in any way, and I helped start a pro-life group at my university. However, I found this whole novel extremely compelling. To my mind, the crux of what the author accomplishes here is laid out in the scene where Simon is subbing for Annie's English class - he tells the class that black and white are easy to deal with and feel self-satisfied about, but the real substance and beauty is always in the gray, which he encourages the students to explore. To my mind, this is the summary of the author's intentions with this book. We see that with the issue of abortion, obviously - even the doctor says he does not know whether it is right or wrong, only that it is necessary. And as a reader, I found myself very sympathetic to him and his patients - people truly live in appalling circumstances. The pro-life movement can be very superficial in the way we portray pregnancy and parenthood. It doesn't make abortion right, but these are valid criticisms.
The other way we see the whole gray area thing play out is with Simon. At the start of the novel, you are sympathetic with Lydia, and believe Simon must be horribly abusive. By the end you realize she's mentally ill, and Simon is not a black-and-white caricature of a Bad Person, but a complex, smart, charming, selfish, tender, ridiculous, gray human being, like all of us.
The author's approach is to lay first impressions susceptible to easy, rash judgement, and then slowly, before the reader quite knows what's happening, change the center of gravity in the characters and moral tensions, revealing to the reader the importance of, once again, bravely dwelling in the gray area, where we have to see people and their struggles as they are, rather than as we want them to be for the sake of fitting into our neat, tidy algorithms. To condemn the book and ignore this extremely gracefully-handled project is small and unfortunate - read it again. Dwell in the gray.