Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Accidental Marriage by Roger B. Thomas - Book Review


I was intrigued when I read the description of the new novel published by Ignatius Press, The Accidental Marriage. How would a Catholic publisher cover the subject matter of a man living an actively gay lifestyle, fathering the child of a woman living with her lesbian lover, and they end up raising the child together? I often remarked to my husband that this was going to be a difficult book to review as I read it. Difficult not because the book wasn't a good one, but due to the complexity of the subject matter. I was hoping that the novel wouldn't be heavy-handed on either end of the spectrum of this controversial topic, and I was not disappointed. 

Scott and Megan are friends who enjoy lunch together on occasion. During one of their visits, Megan mentions that her partner wants Megan to have a baby. Scott offers to father a child for the couple and not long after she becomes pregnant, the relationship between Megan and her partner ends. Scott does what comes naturally to him and takes Megan in, marrying her so that she would have medical coverage during the pregnancy. The struggle for each of them to maintain emotional boundaries is palpable. Each of them are so immersed in their sexual lifestyle and identity, they bristle against obvious natural consequences from the situation they've found themselves in. 

There were no preachy moments in the book. It is neither pro, nor anti-gay. The characters are well-developed and likable. I found myself cheering for them, feeling a parental urge to hug them and tell them it would all work out okay in the end. Certainly each of us have struggled with identity, fought against what we knew we longed for and needed. Scott and Megan are no exception.

If you are interested in a book club study/discussion guide for this book, there is one available HERE

I give The Accidental Marriage 4 out of 5 stars. 

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The Catechism of the Catholic Church on homosexuality:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.
2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops statements on homosexuality are HERE

Catholic Answers Tract on homosexuality is HERE

Pope Francis stated that same-sex marriage is 'anthropological regression' HERE

Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) on same-sex marriage HERE


  

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