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Compelling Interests    by Jessica Shaver order for
Compelling Interests
by Jessica Shaver
Order:  USA  Can
Winepress, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Weaver

Compelling Interests deals with a sensitive topic to most people: abortion rights in the United States. Using an interesting strategy and a variety of characters, author Jessica Shaver gives a fictional account of the history of abortion rights in the U.S. from the 1940s to the present day. Although it is obvious from her bio and how she ends the narrative that she is fiercely pro-life, she offers a balanced showing of both sides.

Her characters are based on real people who have fought for both sides of the issues through the last sixty years. Shaver includes a helpful postscript on exactly which details are true and which are fabricated. Unlike many books that center on a hot issue, Shaver doesn't incorporate her passion for one side. Instead she centers this passion on portraying believable characters. The reader will find him or herself caring for both Mariana, the Hispanic woman who opens a home for pregnant women and for Dr. Julius Guy, the man made a millionaire by his five-minute abortions and chain of clinics.

I found Shaver's work to be, well, compelling! I feel this is a must-read for people on both sides of the abortion issue. It really brings to life the arguments with which proponents of both sides have battled against each other for many years. As the back cover reads, 'Pro-choice activist care about women. Pro-life activists care about babies. This novel cares about both.' My only disappointment is that it is printed by a small publisher and may not have the circulation it deserves.

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