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"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Behind Bella by Tim Drake

This is a book for both you and your tween, (and you don’t have to admit it’s because of Eduardo.)

Seriously, it’s a handsome… book. I found it at Lovely and interesting as the pictures are, I was interested in getting details of the story behind the movie. I had watched Bella with my oldest tween, and we were taken with it. It proved to be a fine conversation starter about why women might seek abortion.

I had heard there was a conversion experience for the main actor, Eduardo, during the making of the film. I wanted to know more about this. This book included a more complete picture of Eduardo’s conversion story, as well as the impact the movie had on the cast, producers, and supporters. I loved the stories of everyday miracles (and one not-so-ordinary miracle) that blended into a big picture of God’s hand in the whole production.

Yes, it’s a beautiful-looking book. Yes, the pictures are eye-catching. Yes, it is a gift-quality book. But the details of the story were what I was after and received. My tween daughter, on the other hand, liked the pictures best. I noticed that while she was intrigued by the picutures, she also read the text and caught the beauty of the story behind the story of the movie.

The book’s essence is how the movie came about through the conversion and commitment of young, dedicated Catholics. After weaving the story of the production of the movie and the effects of it on people involved, we are also treated to pictures and descriptions of babies saved and babies born during the movie. It concludes with essays written by young people about why they loved Bella. Throughout, the theme of self-sacrifice and love resonates.

Tucked in the back of the book is a brief description of a woman who visited an abortion clinic and later her baby was expelled. It’s brief and part of her conversion story, and the only time any of the unsavory details of the abortion process is mentioned.

I am saving the book along with a copy of the movie to give together as a gift to a lukewarm Catholic. Unfortunately, I know many of these. Fortunately, Bella and Behind Bella are a perfect tools since they evangelize gently. I hope my gift will find its way to person who needs not just a story of life but a story of the Church working in the service of life. My tweenager is actually compiling a list of potential converts for me!

A fuller description can be found at:

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