Peninsula author writes on surrogate motherhood

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

DIAMOND POINT — The seed for Beverly Hoffman’s novel Cradled Dreams was planted some 25 years ago in Seguin, Texas.

Hoffman, a native Texan, heard the story of a woman who decided to bear a child for her sister-in-law, who was infertile.

A writer and teacher, Hoffman remembered the story. And for her, questions of morality, spirituality and motherhood beckon her to explore.

Six years ago, she embarked on a book, and now it’s out, self-published, even as Hoffman lays plans for another.

Cradled Dreams is about Robin, who is happily married to Stephen. At Thanksgiving, Robin learns that her sister-in-law Georgie, after years of trying, has been unable to conceive a child.

Robin’s heart goes out to Georgie. On impulse, she offers herself as a surrogate mother.

But Robin doesn’t tell Stephen until later. It’s not an easy conversation.

Robin does become pregnant, and Cradled Dreams takes the reader up to the time when she’s about to give birth.

In writing this story, “I didn’t have a feeling of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’” for Robin and her family, Hoffman said. But she did want to explore those moral questions, questions she’d also found in Michael Sandel’s book What Money Can’t Buy. In it, Sandel writes about surrogacy and other issues of human life, ethics and economics.

At first, Hoffman had Dreams’ story line mapped out in her mind.

“I had what I thought was going to be the ending,” she said, but “the characters changed that.”

Hoffman, who retired with her husband, Marty, to Diamond Point after teaching for the U.S. Department of Defense schools in Panama for 26 years, began writing a column for the Sequim Gazette about 10 years ago.

Then she teamed with a writing partner, Helen Sears of Port Angeles. For eight years, she was “invaluable,” Hoffman said, “as an encourager and reader of my work.”

Now, the author is writing another book, this one nonfiction. It’s about rituals, the kind that are “not labor-intensive or expensive,” she said, “but little moments that we create that enhance our lives.”

Cradled Dreams, meanwhile, is available at www.Amazon.com and other online outlets. Hoffman has yet to pursue any public readings of her novel, “but I’m open to it,” she said.

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 27. 2013 6:32PM
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