Recommended Reads: ‘A Childless Love Story’ offers food for thought about parenthood

This Particular Happiness: A Childless Love Story. By Jackie Shannon Hollis

Stop by The Neverending Bookshop, 7530 Olympic View Dr. Unit 105, Edmonds on Oct. 19 to meet the author in person and have your book signed.

Choice can be a double-edged sword. When couples have the opportunity to decide between them whether they will have children, it presents a dilemma when the two people in the relationship do not agree. Choosing between the love of a partner and the chance to become a parent creates tension. Someone may end up with regrets. This memoir is a poignant description of the author working through this situation with her husband. Her analytical review becomes a memorable exploration of their relationship, and also of her own life experience and what drives her desire. “Maybe this thing I called wanting a child was a distraction from a bigger need: to understand why I was here, why I was alive. My need to justify myself.”

The author’s sincere soul searching is touching and mesmerizes as it builds in its intensity. Her history is revealed as she remembers it, and how she feels it. A picture is painted of her life experiences. The resulting portrait shows wrinkles from the consequences that left strong emotions beneath the surface. As she struggles with her inner passions and unresolved issues, she tries to persuade her husband to change his mind, hoping he will not stand firm in his choice not to become a father.

In the meantime the author describes that “Life made a path around the wanting.” Despite our personal trials and tribulations, life has a habit of moving forward at a relentless pace. For this family decision, that also sets up a ticking clock which increases the urgency of an acceptance of a final decision between them. Can true happiness be found in a childless love story? Join this passionate woman on her very personal and heartfelt journey of discovery. This memoir resonates especially with couples who have faced this pull at their heart, but also it’s a revelation for those who have chosen parenthood. When these difficult struggles surface, the author has a life lesson to share. “Death can come at any moment. Be present, or you will miss your life.”

Think of choosing this book for your book club. A readers’ guide is included for a lively discussion. Jackie Shannon Hollis is a lifelong Oregonian, and resides with her husband in a home her friends call the tree house.

— By Wendy Kendall

Wendy Kendall is an author soon to be published by The Wild Rose Press, project manager and volunteer at the Friends of the Edmonds Library


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