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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nobody's Child

Just because we can do something, should we?

That's the question Austin Boyd's novel Nobody's Child stirs within its reader.  Nobody's Child is the first installment in a new series (The Pandora Files) of bioethics suspense novels by Austin Boyd.  When I worked outside the home, I served as a Social Worker in both medical and psychiatric settings.  Part of my responsibilities in both areas were to oversee the Ethics Committee.  I was very eager to review this book and Zondervan provided me a copy for that purpose.

Austin Boyd is an award winning author, inventor, business entrepreneur, spacecraft engineer, and Navy pilot.  He weaves real science with true-to-life characters in descriptive page-turning suspense.  Austin lives with his wife in Huntsville, AL.  They have four adult children.  Mr. Boyd manages an engineering and design company, and serves the community through Crisis Pregnancy ministries.   He supports Choose Life of North Alabama, the nation's third busiest crisis pregnancy center, located in Huntsville, AL. This center meets the needs of nearly 5,000 women in crisis each year. Mr. Boyd serves on the Board of Directors, and recently led the center's effort to buy and renovate a 9,000 square foot medical building, which is the center's new home. Mr. Boyd says, "Every day you see miracles in our center, womens' hearts changed, and babies' lives saved. It's amazing."

You can visit his website, Austin Boyd: A Novel Approach to Truth, at

View the book trailer for Nobody's Child below:

Mr. Boyd was gracious to answer a few questions for me via email.  I asked him first what inspired him to write Nobody's Child:
"Two inspirations, actually. First, we Americans desperately need to better understand the thorny dilemmas of bioethics and biotechnology, but few of us will take the time to read a bioethics treatise. This is my effort to get the word out, and do it in a way that creates an emotional moment for the reader. Second, as a native West Virginian, I wanted to tell the world about the beautiful place that I grew up. So, I frame the tough questions about egg donations in a natural setting that tells the world about my Mountain State."
I also asked Mr. Boyd what it was that he hopes the readers of Nobody's Child will come away with after finishing the book:
"I hope that readers of this novel will empathize with the deep pain of two women. Laura Ann is a young woman, raised by her dad on a lonely farm, a sheltered girl who's never even seen a gynecologist when she makes her first egg donation. In her mind, she's sold her body--tantamount to prostitution. Extreme? Maybe, but put yourself in the shoes of a destitute woman exploited by the promise of cash for her eggs. On the other hand, Sophia wanted children for her whole life. She grieves deeply for the chance to have a child, and is thrilled to at last be pregnant with Laura Ann's egg. Is egg donation a good thing or a bad thing? It's tough to say... it depends: are you Laura Ann or Sophia? I want readers to wrestle with these tough issues and pray about their response. There are no easy answers here, no black and white choices. But we must get a dialogue going about these ethical quandaries because we really do live in a "brave new world."
I was also interested in knowing what other topics we can expect Mr. Boyd to write about in his new series, The Pandora Files:
"The next novel, set to release just as we swear in a new president in 2013, is about health care rationing and "dying well." What if Medicare becomes so insolvent that only certain people are allowed life-extending treatment? Who makes the decision about the citizens who are refused treatment? And for those folks who don't want "heroic measures" to extend their lives, is it wrong to say "enough is enough" and accept death? What does it mean to "die well?" We'll explore both issues in the setting of a man and his wife who are both facing the end of life, but want to do it trusting in God and do it with a measure of dignity. Later novels in The Pandora Files series will provide suspenseful stories that deal with issues like black market organ harvests, drug-induced enhancement to make people smarter, growing human organs in animals, comatose patients who can hear, and immortality treatments."
As you can see, we have some interesting and time sensitive subjects to look forward to in the upcoming offerings in The Pandora Files series.  I can assure you, I will be anxiously awaiting the release of each book!

The reader of Nobody's Child is immediately drawn into the lives of Laura Ann, Sophia and Ian.  Mr. Boyd grabs your attention on page one and keeps you turning pages until the very last one.  He treats the subject of egg donation and the struggle of the donor and receiver with such dignity.  His attention to descriptive detail is exceptional.  You almost feel as if you are there with Laura Ann at her visits to the clinic or as if you are walking Sophia's journey of infertility right along with her.  I have never had a work of fiction make me feel the way Nobody's Child did nor ask the questions with which I continue to wrestle. 

Austin Boyd and The Pandora Files, will be an author and series you won't want to miss, so follow the link provided to below to purchase Nobody's Child.

The book can also be purchased at Zondervan's site by going HERE.