Book Reviews - Health - Parenting

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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Carol is a follower of Jesus and a wife, mom & grandma. She worked for many years as a childbirth nurse and prenatal educator. She recently retired from clinical work. She has written articles for nursing journals and devotionals. Her novel, Aliisa's Letter, was published in 2010 and she is currently working on another project.