Chosen: A Novel

( 27 )

Overview

It all begins with a fantasy . . .

caseworker in her “paperwork-signing” suit alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn: this is the blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of Portland’s Chosen Child domestic adoption program, happy as she juggles the demands of her boss and the incessant needs of adoptive and biological parents.

But the dream job that offers Chloe refuge from her turbulent personal life soon becomes a...

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Chosen: A Novel

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Overview

It all begins with a fantasy . . .

caseworker in her “paperwork-signing” suit alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn: this is the blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of Portland’s Chosen Child domestic adoption program, happy as she juggles the demands of her boss and the incessant needs of adoptive and biological parents.

But the dream job that offers Chloe refuge from her turbulent personal life soon becomes a nightmare involving three very different couples: the college sweethearts who, after suffering fertility problems, are now expecting their own baby; the wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and the couple who has nothing—except the baby everyone wants. But when a child goes missing, perceptions of family and future are challenged, posing the questions: What happens when you get what you thought you wanted? How far would you go if it wasn’t what you wanted after all?

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
“Unbearable tension. . . . Chandra Hoffman’s unflinching and suspense-filled account of the pleasures and perils of domestic adoption . . . is a wrenching portrait.”
Ann Hood
“This riveting debut novel from Chandra Hoffman will keep you on edge until its final glorious pages. Enlightening, terrifying, and big-hearted, Chosen is a terrific book!”
Juliette Fay
“Gritty and suspenseful, Chosen draws us into the obstacle-strewn path of domestic adoption. Hoffman’s characters are complex and sympathetic in strikingly different ways, even those who appear at first glance to be irredeemable.”
Therese Fowler
“Chandra Hoffman’s Chosen is a finely tuned page-turner. . . . There is no perfect happiness here; instead, there is the unexpected grace of discovering that getting what we want is so often less ideal than wanting what we get. This is an outstanding debut.”
Liza Gyllenhaal
“With sensitivity and keen insight, Chandra Hoffman’s absorbing first novel Chosen explores the demanding, uplifting, and emotionally explosive world of adoption. Touching, immediately involving, as well as propulsively readable, Chosen heralds a powerful and distinctive new voice in contemporary women’s fiction.”
Leonard Chang
“In one of the most self-assured debuts I’ve read, Chosen takes the charged and important issue of adoption and spins it into a gripping story that will keep readers captivated. Chandra Hoffman, a superb artist and storyteller, has written a beautiful and compelling novel.”
Booklist
“[Hoffman’s] sparkling debut fully engages the reader with Chloe’s altruistic dreams and the predicament in which she unexpectedly finds herself.”
USA Today
“A shocking ending.”
Publishers Weekly
Hoffman's middling debut explores the darker side of open adoption, as seen through the eyes of Chloe Pinter, a young social worker at a Portland, Ore., adoption agency. Juggling the insecurities of the wealthy and infertile Francie and John McAdoo with the increasingly strident demands of the contracted and impoverished birth parents, Penny and Jason, Chloe starts to question her own beliefs and motivations. When Chloe sees that Penny has bought a basinet, she warns the McAdoos that the adoption might not go through, inadvertently setting off a chain of events that eventually puts a newborn in danger's path. Hoffman seems to want the reader to understand the dilemma of birth parents confronted with the need to give up a child, but Penny and Jason and their family are too damaged and destructive to elicit any empathy, and the McAdoos, on the other end of the class spectrum, never fail to fall into stereotype. There is a whisper of a solid story about the way poverty, yearning, opportunity, and loss can play out, but with characters so weakly realized, it's tough to see this as anything more than a good-intentioned but inexpert exercise. (Sept.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061974311
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 475,416
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Chandra Hoffman

Chandra Hoffman has been an orphanage relief worker in Romania, a horse trainer in the Caribbean, a short-order cook in a third- world hospital, the director of a U.S. adoption program, and an event planner for Philadelphia’s Main Line elite. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and their three young children. Chosen is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Chosen: Chapter Three

    (Hey guys.... just noticed I spelled Aaron's name wrong in the prolouge. PLEASE DO NOT TELL HIM. I don't think he'd take kindly to it. As for why I skip some reses, yes, I get locked out. I'm not sure how either. That is why there is a delay on some chapters) <p>

    I started towards my class, my Water Board tucked under my arm. I'd never had many classes without Lynia, so this was going to be interesting. I made my way upstairs, stopping at the top and stepping to the side. "Need to find my locker..." I muttered, pulling my Pod back out and flicking it on. News updates about Taerria automatically appeared, as I'd set it to, but I ignored them for the moment, flicking to my personal data. Evangeline Rose Fairchild..... Age 16..... brown and red hair..... blue/grey eyes..... School Data.... Ah! Locker number. Locker 4185. I nodded, walking to the side of the hall where the lockers were located and scanning until I found my locker, thankfully only a few doors down the hallway. I looked the sleek grey object up and down once, my eyes settling on the sensor pad. Lockers these days were not like those of the old ages, but made with a sensor pad that responded only to the dominant handprint of a specified human being. Swiching my board to my right arm, I settled my left hand on the pad and waited for the familiar click that meant it had unlocked. When that sound came, I set my bag and board down. All school books were put into our locker before classes for the semester started, to avoid the confusion of having to pass them out. I pulled out my AP Biology book, putting it in my bag. Lifting my Water Board back up, I clicked the storage lock on it and folded the device in half, then in fourths, until it was the size a textbook. Setting it inside my locker, I pushed the door shut and picked up my sachel, slinging it back over my shoulder and heading for my class. <br>
    I managed to make it just before the bell rang, and the door started to swing shut. The doors were automated so that once class started, only a Class Pass, of which there were two for each classroom, one male and one female, or a Staff Pass, of which every staff member had one, could open the door. I looked around the sleek lab setting around me, mostly white. This year, it seemed, we would be put in pairs of two for work. I shrugged. Fine by me. Most of the students were on their pads, finding their seat, and I did the same as a notice popped up. Third row to the back. Partner: Keagon Williams. <br>
    I paled at the name. Keagon. He'd been absolutely rude to Lynia and I since before I could remember, and had broken Lynia's heart a few years ago when she'd taken a liking to him. I harbored no kind feelings for him. That's what best friends were supposed to do, right? Protect their friend from guys like Keagon. Sighing and resigning myself to cruel fate, I made my way over and sat down, setting my bag on the floor beside me, pulling my pad out. Mr. Nansmond was up front, working silently on something. So the class at the moment were all silently conversing through their pads. We knew the rules. No talking during class instruction unless given due allowance by your instructor. Still though, I jumped slightly when a message appeared on my pad. I wasn' t associated with anyone in this class. This ID number wasn't familiar either... <p>

    Low on characters again, sorry. Remember, 'emris' res one to speak to me or ask a question. A map of my stories and their location will be in res two.

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Chosen

    Adoption. It¿s about making a family. Chosen by Chandra Hoffman is a rollercoaster ride of the people behind those faces on adoption brochures. Social Worker, Chloe Pitner at Chosen Child Adoption Agency loves her job¿well most of it. She believes in what she is doing. It¿s about bringing the right people together. She has a great reputation on the adoption messaging boards and a photo book of happily ever after stories. Chosen is a story about four couples whose lives are intertwined. Two babies born--lives forever changed. One couple relishing in finally having their dream baby; another couple has to wait and see and a young couple not sure what the right choice is. Chandra Hoffman examines the what if you get everything you always wanted and found out it wasn¿t. When a baby goes missing it pushes everyone to question what they really want. Paul and Eva finally have their dream child, but parenthood isn¿t as pretty as they thought it would be. Eva struggles with postpartum depression and Paul throws himself into building his business to be the biggest in the state. John and Francie have suffered years of disappointment while trying to have a child. When they finally have one in reach will he be lost to them forever? Can their marriage withstand the dramatic change in who they are? Jason and Penny have nothing but criminal records and a baby to offer. Jason loves Penny and wants to give her the life he believes she deserves at any cost. Reading along I found my heart beating faster and at other times with tears running down my face. Due to the content of the story you would think it would be so easy to love some characters and hate others, but truthfully I didn¿t. All the characters were really well developed. Even though Chloe is the main thread in the novel, Hoffman gives her readers access to almost all the characters private thoughts and motivations. I would add there is some adult language and themes, but I truthfully believe it added to the raw and grittiness of the story. I absolutely recommend Chosen! Once you start reading you won't want to stop till the very last page! Chandra Hoffman is an author to watch!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    An inside look at the adoption process!

    Chloe Pinter has what she would consider the "best" job and at times, the "worst" job. She is the director of Portland's Chosen Child domestic adoption program and she is the case worker that helps families find just the perfect child for them to adopt, fitting birth mothers and adoptive parents together. In a sense, she helps build families for parents who can't have children through conventional methods. The downside of this, is that often times, birth mothers wait until the last minute to decide that they want to keep their baby, leaving the adoptive parents with nothing but heart break and the time spent waiting once more to find a birth mother to have a child.

    In Chosen by Chandra Hoffman, Chloe is working with three very different sets of parents. One couple who have been childhood sweethearts since college despite twelve miscarriages and a dozen fertility problems are now finally expecting their own baby, praying that this one will carry to term. Another set of parents, are wealthy and can afford the expense that the adoption process carries with it, yet despite their ages, they are finally hoping that they can find a birth mother who will be willing to offer them a child. The final couple are the birth mother and her boyfriend who are having difficulty coming to an agreement over what they want to do. The boyfriend wants to make as much money as possible on the baby and the mother is considering keeping the child.

    This is a very compelling look into the different sides of the adoption process from the case worker, to the birth mother to the adoptive parents. Each with a different set of motives, the reader is drawn into each couple's unique set of circumstances and is torn with their emotions over how difficult the entire adoption process can be.

    I received this book compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review and really enjoyed this one. Like I stated before, for those who have never realized all the work that goes into a successful adoption, this gives you a fictional account of the ins and outs of the process through three different families. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars and it does contain some sexual content and profanity as a caution to some readers.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 7, 2010

    Couldn't put this one down!

    To me, this book was full of suspense and I had a hard time putting it down. I carried it with me everywhere I went around my house just to devour another few pages every time I got a free moment. I have never had experience with adoption but I have had friends who have had a hard time conceiving a child. As a mother, I found the story of these couples (in all aspects) to be very emotionally moving. In the end, I feel so blessed to just have my kids the conventional way and thank god I can afford to raise them.

    Personally, I felt sorry for Chloe, having to juggle so many aspects, and scandal. Social workers are so underpaid for the service they provide to humanity, and they are sorely under appreciated, so with that being said it is hard for me to judge what I would do if I were in her shoes, but I do think I would have been meaner.

    I will be recommending this book to my friends who enjoy high suspense fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    Really enjoyed this book

    It makes you understand more of what goes into adoptions from private agencies. Enjoyable !

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Mystery

    This is a pretty cool story so far...keep up the good work Emris!!!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2014

    Ally

    Ya its awesome i love ot it hwlps me wiht my dyslezia

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Ar-

    Again, this is awesome! Continue continue continue!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    A random person

    I love your story, Emris (sorry if I spelled that wrong)! By the way, what college do you go to? I don't want to seem like a stalker or anything, but I want to be an author, and hey, it's never a bad time to look for potential colleges! If you don't answer, it's fine. I probably seem like a stalker already. But anyway, please continue! I hope I'm not being annoying!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    To Emeris

    To Emris, why do you skip some results? Did you get locke out or something?

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    Pretty Good

    A little too neatly wrapped up but still good.

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  • Posted August 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Chosen is a fascinating contemporary tale that focuses on the economics behind adoptions

    In Portland, Oregon, Chloe Pinter is a social worker and director of the Chosen Child's domestic adoption program. Her current clients, the recipients wealthy Francie and John McAdoo and the impoverished donor birth parents Penny and Jason, have different demands of Chloe especially when the social worker notices the bassinet in their home. She fears they will not come together in this open adoption.

    Chloe warns the McAdoo couple not to count their chickens before they are hatched as the adoption may not occur. Her admonition leads to a series of missteps that places the baby in jeopardy and has Chloe reconsidering the merits of open adoptions that she thought were the best way to exchange a child.

    Chosen is a fascinating contemporary tale that focuses on the economics behind adoptions; as the impoverished donor couple struggle to make ends meet while the affluent pair can afford the child. The couples are overly stereotyped as the poor family (including Jason's brother) are abusive and threatening while the wealthy pair is snooty nouveau riche. Ironically a third couple and Chloe are the sympathetic characters. Still in spite of the hyperbole of the exchange couples, Chandra Hoffman provides an interesting 360 degree look at how several people feel about adoption.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

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    Posted November 17, 2011

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    Posted October 6, 2011

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    Posted September 15, 2010

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    Posted September 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

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    Posted December 14, 2010

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