About the Book:What if a choice you made for your child could harm someone else's'?
For single mother Kate O'Hara, there was no choice to make. Her daughter, Rosie, is one of a small percentage of children with a disorder that prevents them from being immunized. All Kate can do is hope that herd immunity keeps disease at bay and her little girl safe.
For Madeleine Cooper vaccinations were a leap of faith she wasn't prepared to take. Which was why, following much soul-searching, she and her husband declined controversial measles shots for their daughter, Clara. All she can do is pray that it was the right decision, and if her little girl becomes sick, she gets through it unscathed.
But when both girls wind up in the same elementary school class, telltale red spots appear on Clara Cooper's chest, and on Rosie's a few days after.
And while one child recovers and the other's health becomes more critical, the two mothers find themselves across a very deep divide...
I have an autistic son. There was a noticeable uptick in the number of kids diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders starting with kids about his age. Of course the big question is why. One thing that changed with kids about his age was "baby shots". For quite some time before he was born, the shots given to babies had been the same. A year or two before he was born, the HIb vaccine was put in and shortly thereafter they started giving hepatitis B shorts to infants in the hospital. A few years later a doctor from England published a paper that stated that the preservative in the shots, a mercury derivative called thimerisol, was responsible for the increased number of autistic children. I don't know if there was an "anti-vaxx" movement before that paper (which has now been revealed as a fraud), but since that time not vaccinating your children has become an option in many more parents' minds than it had been prior to that time.
I am also the mother of a child who was born after my autistic son and after I began doing a lot of research on autism, its prevalence and its causes. I was well aware of the purported link between vaccines and autism and well aware that the medical establishment consistently denied such a link. I am also well aware that tobacco companies for years provided medical "evidence" that smoking didn't cause cancer and that asbestos companies had medical experts who declared asbestos to be safe. Nevertheless, I decided to vaccinate my youngest, though I always cringed when they did so, and I delayed the shots for a few months.
This book is about one mother who chose not to vaccinate her child, and one whose child was not able to be vaccinated due to allergies. First the child whose mother chose not to vaccinate got measles, and then got over them. Then the child who couldn't be vaccinated got them, and was far sicker.
The mother whose child became very ill hired an attorney to sue the parents of the child who infected her. The story is set in Ireland and while I don't know anything about Irish law, I was not happy with the outcome of the court case or the general resolution of the book. Nevertheless I enjoyed the story and liked the way the author had these moms actually knowing each other--both that the seriously ill girl's mom knew how her daughter became ill and that the other mom knew that her child had infected the seriously ill child. In other words, the cause and effect were right there to look at for both of them, it wasn't hypothetical.
Another thing I liked about the book is that one of the moms was a blogger.
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a complimentary review copy via NetGalley. Grade: B+