The Hidden Child: Book Review

Whenever I visit the library, I check the display of new books. Recently The Hidden Child by Louise Fein caught my eye.

The Hidden Child

This historical novel, set in the 1920s, tells a story that connects the eugenics movement and the plight of a child with epilepsy. (Eugenics is a theory that the human race can be improved by preventing people with bad genes from giving birth.) Eleanor, Edward and their daughter, Mabel, live near London in England. Mabel is four years old when the story begins and by the time she is five she is having seizures.

The author researched epilepsy colonies in England and the Eugenics Society led by men in the United States and England. The goal of this society was to form a more ideal population and to limit the growth of population. With this in mind colonies of people with epilepsy and those considered “feeble-minded” were organized. If legislation could be passed, these people would be sterilized. 

The book is well written and thought provoking. Louise Fein has personal insight into the treatment of epilepsy because her daughter was treated for it. The author is telling a mother’s story, and as it unfolds, Eleanor’s growing courage and advocacy for Mabel is heartwarming.

While the main characters are fictional, historical characters are included. The case of Carrie Buck is mentioned in passing and I decided to check it out. Buck v. Bell was a Supreme Court case decided in 1927. Virginia had passed a law allowing forced sterilization of the “feeble-minded”. The Supreme Court upheld the law.

On May 2 of that year the court ruled that Virginia’s law was constitutional and that Buck should be sterilized. In the majority opinion Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes enthusiastically declared that the “principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.” In an oft-quoted phrase, he concluded that “three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Consequently, Buck and approximately 8,300 other Virginians, including her younger half sister, were sterilized under the state law between 1927 and 1972. 

It is true that the state of Massachusetts passed a vaccine mandate for small pox that was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1905 (Jacobson v. Massachusetts). Persons that refused the vaccine were fined $5.00.

In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court voted seven to two in favor of the state, ruling that although the state could not pass laws requiring vaccination in order to protect an individual, it could do so to protect the public in the case of a dangerous communicable disease.

The underlying belief is collectivism. In order to serve the greater good, individual liberty and health choice is sacrificed.

The discussion of vaccine mandates is back. In this situation the vaccine does not protect the public from the virus. Both the vaccinated and unvaccinated can become infected and transmit the disease.

I recently listened to a discussion of the inadequate safety testing of the Pfizer vaccine and the information that is hidden in the fine print of the vaccine trial documents. I am alarmed. You can hear the discussion of the Canadian Covid Care Alliance on Rumble.

In these trying time we truly need wisdom from God. I find comfort in this scripture verse. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

Join me in praying for the Supreme Court Justices. May they seek wisdom from God.

On my trip to the library today I picked up Louise Fein’s earlier book, Daughter of the Reich.

Updated: 1/10/2022

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Who Is Listening for the Promise?

One of the Christmas cards I received had a drawing of Mary and Elizabeth. According to the book of Luke, Elizabeth was the first to learn of Mary’s pregnancy after the angel had appeared to Mary. She believed God’s plan.

Art by Mike Torevell

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke 1: 41-42

Matthew recorded the visit of the three wise men from the east. They had learned of the birth of Jesus from their study of the stars. They came to worship and bring gifts.

And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him. Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2: 9-11

Luke recorded the experience of shepherds who were tending their sheep.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over the flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For onto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2: 8-14

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. Luke 2: 15-17

Elizabeth, the wise men from the east and the shepherd received the announcement of a Savior, a King. Amidst the political turmoil, corruption of leaders and problems in daily life, they heard the message of hope. God was doing something, Let us be like them, ready to see and hear God at work. In another post I write about Mary and Elizabeth and how their hearts and minds were prepared for the coming Savior.

Our soul waits for the Lord, he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33: 20-22

Note: the card pictured above is from The Printery House at Conception Abbey 

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Christmas Community

Each day I look forward to the mail. It is a blessing and joy to receive Christmas cards and letters.

Sometimes it is a photo card and I marvel how the children in the family have grown. Other times it is a pretty card with a letter.

The cards and letters signify relationships and community. I am so thankful to hear from friends living in different states, different countries. We share the joy of Christmas along with family news.

The apostle Paul wrote letters to people of faith that he considered family. 

Paul, a servant of God . . . to Titus, my child in a common faith. Titus 1:1,4

Do you write a Christmas letter? Or send a photo card?

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The Best Expectation

Throughout the past year my husband and I have been reading through the Bible. Today our reading was from 1 Chronicles and Isaiah. The books we have read clearly illustrate human nature and the problem of sin in the lives of people who have gone before us.

After God chose Israel to be a nation to follow his commands—laws that would sustain them and allow them to flourish—the people wanted a king. They wanted to be like other nations.

And so they had kings. God continued to reach out to them through the prophets, promising a Savior that would redeem them from the human pattern of sin.

For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forever more. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:6-7

As years went by, the people waited. When Jesus came, he was not like their expectation. They were familiar with kings and power. They were hoping for a powerful king to overthrow the heavy hand of Roman rule.

It is interesting that in Matthew 13, Jesus tells three parables to describe the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field . . .  Again, the kingdom of heaven in like a merchant in search of fine pearls . . .  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. Matthew 13: 44, 45, 47

 It had to be so difficult to understand, that the promised Prince of Peace would also be a suffering Savior.

He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, as one from whom men hid their faces. He was despised , and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God and afflected. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 52: 3-5

We live in a confusing and turbulent time. We can miss God’s plan of salvation if we are not seeking God with all our heart. What are my expectations? Can I lay them aside and wait patiently, prayerfully for God?

There is one expectation that I can claim. God will fulfill his promises.

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