I've got to stay conscious for my baby, she repeated over and over in her mind. She moved back to the floor next to the sofa, trying to sit upright with her young child next to her, while drifting in and out of consciousness.
by Ellen Gable
Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval2009
EXCERPT and REVIEWS
EMILY’S HOPE is a unique novel in which young people can learn about the Church's teachings on marriage and family within the context of the story. Its blend of candid storytelling and solid Church teaching makes it a perfect study tool in the Catholic high school or youth group setting.EMILY’S HOPE in 2006 won Honorable Mention in the annual Independent Publishing awards. Ellen Gable, author of EMILY’S HOPE, in 2009 was awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.
EXCERPTThe pain in her abdomen became more excruciating with every passing moment. She sat on the sofa and dialed the number of the high school. It seemed like an eternity for the line to connect. One, two rings. Please, someone pick up, she silently begged. Hearing the secretary's voice, Emily could barely speak, but she uttered enough to make it clear that she needed her husband. She dropped the phone and tried to take a deep breath. Feeling an overwhelming need to vomit, she rushed to the bathroom just in time to spill the contents of her stomach. She gripped the cold, hard toilet, as if in some way, it would make her pain bearable. Disoriented, she thought of her baby and quickly glanced over at his smiling, inquisitive face, oblivious of his mother's pain.I've got to stay conscious for my baby, she repeated over and over in her mind. She moved back to the floor next to the sofa, trying to sit upright with her young child next to her, while drifting in and out of consciousness. Keeping a death grip on him, she woke up as the paramedics were prying her hands off her son and placing her on a stretcher. It all seemed like a dream. She overheard the paramedics talking about what a "little thing she was." Too weak to make a sound, she wondered where her young son was. She caught a glimpse of her husband holding him at the back doors of the ambulance.His right arm cradled their son's little body but his left hand clasped his small head to his chest as if to shield and protect him from the turmoil that surrounded them both. But her husband's face ... his face was so broken and distraught that Emily felt the anguish of a wife and mother abandoning her family. Tears welled up in her eyes and for a moment, Emily forgot her pain.Then his eyes caught hers, and he realized that she was watching him. Everything changed. His chin lifted, as if for courage, and penetrated her being with a look of tenderness and confidence. Whatever happens, I will be strong for you and for the sons we both love and for God, who has asked so much of you. He seemed to say all of this with his eyes, all of this and more. As his love and reassurance reached out to her through the shouts of the paramedics and their frantic procedures, the beeping of machines and the overwhelming wail of the siren, its light already flashing, her terror began to fade and her heart surged within her. Now reassured, she allowed herself to fall back asleep.Emily's eyes opened again this time as the paramedics were inserting an intravenous needle in her arm. It felt as if they were stabbing her with an ice pick, but all she could manage was a wince and a small moan. It seemed as if every ounce of energy had been sucked from her very being. This is what it feels like to die. Then she imagined her little boys' faces, and suddenly the possibility of dying weighed heavy on her heart. Please God, I can't die, she silently prayed. I don't want my little boys growing up without a mother. All of a sudden, a feeling of warmth surrounded her, then she felt at peace. There was no bitterness, only acceptance, a calm that was huge enough to quiet an ocean. She silently recited a Hail Mary ... now at the hour of our death. Amen. Those last words took on powerful meaning with the possibility that this could be her hour. She knew that whatever happened would be God's will, and she would submit to that, whatever it was. Drifting into unconsciousness, the last thing she heard was, "... we're losing her ...”
REVIEWS“Compelling...a real page turner.”Damon Owens (Speaker, founder NJNFP)“While this book is definitely about NFP, it is also about the love of husbands and wives, the love of parents for their children and the agonizing moral choices we sometimes face. It is also about real people and about being witnesses to a culture of life in a world overshadowed by the culture of death.”Kristie Wellman, One More Soul“There is so much to love about Emily’s Hope – the innocence of young love, the beautiful, miraculous, healing power of love and the beauty of sacrificial married love and its life-giving splendor. This story is not a fantasy, but is a tender and sensitive portrayal of what makes love real and lasting.”Jean Heimann, Catholic Fire“This book is a must read for anyone who has ever questioned whether living the NFP lifestyle is worth it or ever been resentful of the deprivations of NFP. Your novel will provide tremendous attitude adjustment for everyone who has ever struggled to live a holy and Catholic matrimony. I loved this book!”Christopher Blunt (author, “Passport”)“The point of the book is simply this: for young men and women at the beginning of their adult life, happiness here, now and later depends on being virtuous...I would encourage everyone to read this book,certainly young women. It is a book I can wholeheartedly recommend.”David Beresford, Catholic Insight Magazine“Your book is a vehicle for the whole truth behind the Theology of the Body, presented so that people can see how the teachings of the Church are to be followed.”Joan Hon, (author “A Trip To Medjugorje”)“...a brilliant device which allows for simultaneously explaining the separate time frames during which contraception and abortion were legalized...”James Volpe, NFP teacher, (Natural Family Life)“A novel that captured my heart and taught me a lesson (or three) about my faith throughits story. This book was a valuable catechesis.”Sarah Reinhard, Another Day of Catholic Pondering blog“Emily’s Hope is not an ordinary book. It is the story of unconditional love, despair, strong will, faith and spiritual growth.”Tannia Ortiz Lopes, (author “The Window to My Soul”)“...highly valuable in preparation for marriage. I would recommend reading it together with older teens as part of the discussions of courtship and how best to respect and enjoy God’s gift of sexuality in the context of marriage.”Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-MillerThe Divine Gift of Motherhood Blog "A highly recommended novel, not only for those seeking to better understand Catholic teaching on marriage and family, but for any reader who enjoys inspiring and deeply spiritual historical fiction." Krisi Keley, author, ‘On the Soul of a Vampire’
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Ellen Gable was also recently interviewed by Sacred Heart Radio on the SUNRISE MORNING SHOW in Cincinnati, Ohio.Catholic TV's Father Robert Reed and Jay Fadden, hosts of THIS IS THE DAY, recently interviewed Ellen Gable to discuss her Catholic novel, EMILY'S HOPE.