The Resource Chosen : a novel, Chandra Hoffman, (overdrive ebook)

Chosen : a novel, Chandra Hoffman, (overdrive ebook)

Chosen : a novel
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Chandra Hoffman
A young caseworker becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of adoptive and birth parents, with devastating results. It all begins with a fantasy: the caseworker in her "signing paperwork" charcoal suit, standing alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn. It's this blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of the Chosen Child's domestic-adoption program, happy while juggling the high demands of her boss and the incessant needs of both adoptive and biological parents. But the very job that offers her refuge from her turbulent personal life and Portland's winter rains soon becomes a battleground involving three very different couples. When a child goes missing, dreams dissolve into nightmares, and everyone is forced to examine what he or she really wants and where it all went wrong.--From publisher description
Chloe Pinter, a Portland adoption caseworker, becomes increasingly involved in the lives of three couples, two of whom are expecting babies and one who is seeking to adopt, and must deal with the aftermath when a baby is kidnapped
Story line
Writing style
  • Chloe Pinter is in charge of domestic adoptions at Portland’s Chosen Child adoption agency. She advertises on adoption Web sites; interviews prospective birth mothers; arranges for their rent, food, and clothing for the last three months of their pregnancies; keeps files on all potential adoptive families; attends the births; and basically is on call 24 hours a day. She feels she is making a positive difference in the lives she touches, which makes up for her low salary. But suddenly things begin to disintegrate. One set of birth parents, Penny and Jason, try to extort adoptive parents John and Francie for more money, and demand that Chloe find Jason a job. Then John runs off with “a 19-year-old whore in Singapore,” and Francie starts divorce proceedings. Chloe begins to think that following her undependable but loyal surfer boyfriend to Hawaii may not be such a bad idea. Hoffman herself has worked in an orphanage and run an adoption program, and her sparkling debut fully engages the reader with Chloe’s altruistic dreams and the predicament in which she unexpectedly finds herself. -- Donovan, Deborah (Reviewed 09-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 107, number 1, p39)
  • Hoffman's middling debut explores the darker side of open adoption, as seen through the eyes of Chloe Pinter, a young social worker at a Portland, Ore., adoption agency. Juggling the insecurities of the wealthy and infertile Francie and John McAdoo with the increasingly strident demands of the contracted and impoverished birth parents, Penny and Jason, Chloe starts to question her own beliefs and motivations. When Chloe sees that Penny has bought a basinet, she warns the McAdoos that the adoption might not go through, inadvertently setting off a chain of events that eventually puts a newborn in danger's path. Hoffman seems to want the reader to understand the dilemma of birth parents confronted with the need to give up a child, but Penny and Jason and their family are too damaged and destructive to elicit any empathy, and the McAdoos, on the other end of the class spectrum, never fail to fall into stereotype. There is a whisper of a solid story about the way poverty, yearning, opportunity, and loss can play out, but with characters so weakly realized, it's tough to see this as anything more than a good-intentioned but inexpert exercise. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed June 14, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 23, p)
  • The Chosen Child Agency specializes in private adoptions between well-to-do couples and birth parents from the wrong side of the tracks. Social worker Chloe Pinter handles clients who are rapidly causing her to lose her idealism, such as the case matching the wealthy McAdoos with ex-cons Penny and Jason. Chloe must field spoiled Francie McAdoo's incessant complaints while deflecting the desperate demands of Jason and simultaneously navigating between a failing relationship with her surf bum boyfriend and a simmering attraction to a former client whose wife has just given birth. When a child goes missing, the lives of all the characters collide in a gripping denouement that raises serious questions about the adoption process. VERDICT Debut novelist Hoffman, who has worked as an orphanage relief worker and headed up a domestic adoption program, has written a page-turner that rings true. Despite technical flaws (Francie is too whiny and Jason too skanky to be truly sympathetic), this engrossing read will appeal to fans of domestic fiction luminaries Jodi Picoult, Sue Miller, and Chris Bohjalian.— Jeanne Bogino, New Lebanon Lib., NY --Jeanne Bogino (Reviewed September 1, 2010) (Library Journal, vol 135, issue 14, p101)
  • Gripping tale of an open adoption that spurs a kidnapping, from debut novelist Hoffman. Chloe Pinter thinks she's found her ideal job: caseworker for Chosen Child, a private agency that matches impoverished birth mothers with upper-middle-class, often middle-aged infertile couples longing for a child to nurture. Chosen Child arranges lodging and medical care for the mothers, and supports them for six weeks after they've delivered their children into the hands of the adoptive parents. Jason, the ex-con boyfriend of Penny, also an ex-con scarred by meth use and a horrific rape, is ambivalent about giving up his and Penny's child to Silicon Valley retiree John and his brittle wife Francie, mainly because the payment won't be enough to realize Jason's dream of escaping dreary, overgentrified Portland, Ore., to live in Mexico. Worse, when Penny gives birth to son Buddy (renamed Angus by John and Francie), she lapses into severe post-partum depression complicated by grief. Jason blames Chloe for his predicament, wrongly assuming that she is benefiting financially from the adoption. Chloe has her own relationship woes: Her fiancé Dan, an extreme sports nut, is not ready to settle down in Chloe's bungalow on the fringes of one of Portland's tony neighborhoods. He heads off to Maui to start a kite-boarding business, daring Chloe to follow. Meanwhile, Chloe finds herself dangerously attracted to former client Paul, who, with wife Eva, considered adoption before Eva gave birth to their son Wyeth. Exhausted and sleep-deprived from the unexpected 24/7 schedule of newborn care, Eva momentarily leaves Wyeth unattended in her car. Through a set of coincidences that Hoffman manages to render believable, Jason snatches Wyeth thinking he is Buddy, and the action accelerates. Although it takes too long for the major players (Chloe and Francie have both been threatened by Jason) to connect the dots, the strong descriptions of these driven characters trump occasional lapses in plot logic. Despite a distressing number of dangling modifiers and comma splices, a heartfelt story well told.(Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2010)
Cataloging source
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no index present
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Target audience
Chandra Hoffman
Chosen : a novel, Chandra Hoffman, (overdrive ebook)
Overdrive ID
Antecedent source
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1st ed.
1 online resource (306 p.)
File format
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(electronic bk.)
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not applicable
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unknown sound
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