Motherless, the sequel to Fatherless, opens about 20 years after the original book. Again readers join Father Sweeney in his parish life during the time surrounding the 2008 elections. While Fatherless focused on modern society’s loss of stable father figures, Motherless approaches the loss of mothers. Gail does not shy away from discussing the demons plaguing our society, including contraceptives, abortion and in vitro fertilization. Through three main storylines the reader is able to see real world examples of these demons. At times bouncing through the three story lines can be confusing, but after a few chapters they all start to make sense.
Some may ask if this book is preachy, yes it is, but that is its goal and it does succeed without ruining the story. At times it feels pushed but most of the times the discussions that come up make sense in the circumstances, such as in a Theology on Tap meeting. If one can learn how to accept a book that preaches it is an amazing read. While the book is both long, just over 500 pages, and spiritually deep, it is an interesting read that draws the reader in and doesn’t let them go until they finish. While Fatherless may have been hard for the younger generation to enjoy, Motherless is the book for the children of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. It approaches the issues that are being dealt with now, and we will have to deal with as we begin to marry and begin families. I recommend this for all those 18 and over, and hope you add it to your Christmas list.