Forbid Them Not: The End

Forbid Them Not: The End January 18, 2019

Forbid Them Not, pp. 447-449

And we’re finally here! The last installment of this wild, wild ride!

Deanna called it an early Thanksgiving dinner. She and her children were free, at least for now, from any legal attack. She wanted to celebrate with about forty of her closest friends.

Oh, Deanna. 

Do I even have forty close friends? Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of friends—I’m just not sure that there are forty that I would call “close.” But Deanna is an extrovert. She throws large parties and doesn’t take no for an answer.

Speaking of which—Deanna never did face consequences for spanking Layton. We were never told whether Layton lied when his Guardian Ad Litem, April Hennessey, next called to check in with him. He’d worried about what he would say to her, after Deanna spanked him. He told Deanna that Ms. Hennessey would ask, and she said not to say anything until she talked to Cooper about it—which she seemingly never did. I think Farris forgot entirely about that plot point.

Jeanne helps Deanna make the Thanksgiving dinner double as a surprise wedding shower for Cooper and Laura. This seems like a somewhat odd choice—combining two completely different events like this—but then, this entire book is odd. (I was about to note that Laura probably has friends Deanna doesn’t know that she would want at her wedding shower—compounding the weirdness—but then I remembered that Deanna appears to be Laura’s one and only friend.)

The couple got more serving dishes than they would ever need and not nearly enough wrenches and pliers, Cooper observed quietly to Rick when the women weren’t listening.

Haha! Gender roles! So funny!

I’ll spare you the rest, except in summary. After the wedding shower they turn on Politics & Hollywood to watch Jody Easler. Weird, right? Farris tells us that Cooper found Jody a church out in California, and that she’s now in “a strong home Bible study program.” Cool cool cool. 

Wait wait what. Ok, I have to quote this bit:

Just after the show, Jody called Deanna’s home as planned. Deanna and Jeanne both got on the phone to personally thank her for sacrificing her career for the good of their children and the good of America.

Can I pummel something? I would like to pummel something.

First of all, Jody does still have a career. Farris doesn’t seem to think that being a TV host is an actual, you know, job. Laura gets on the phone and tells Jody how “hilarious” she was on that evening’s show. Everything about this is just so demeaning. It’s like they think she’s just putting on makeup and smiling.

Second, though—and more importantly—Jody didn’t have to give up her career to turn against the committee. She could have stayed on the committee. She could have gone before the Senate and revealed everything that happened. She could have led a push for the U.S. to leave the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, given the actions of the committee. She could have continued her life’s work of advocating for children’s rights, within the U.S.

In addition to telling Jody how hilarious she was, Laura also asks Jody to come to her wedding and be a bridesmaid. So, that happened. (That reminds me—is there going to be paparazzi at this wedding, or has the news lost interest?)

Scene change! We’re now in Switzerland. OH MY GOSH. Kadar addresses Nora Stoddard “Ambassador Stoddard.” This is not how this works. There is one ambassador to the U.N. One. It would not be someone focused specifically on children’s rights, and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. would not be the expert who serves on the U.N. Committee on the Rights on the Child. Regardless of everything wrong here, the import is that Nora has stepped into Jody’s old position.

Nora says they’ve lined up a whole list of children’s rights cases, spanning from Wisconsin to California to South Carolina to Florida to Massachusetts, and that, with a new justice safely on the Supreme Court—the congressman the president picked—they’re going to pursue them all. Presumably, the U.S. Commission on Children will be arguing the cases this time. The cases they’ve selected? Another spanking one, another homeschooling one, and another sex education one—but also one on “the incarceration of juvenile offenders” and “the failure to spend enough on children’s health issues.”

“We believe we can have them all wrapped up well before the 2006 election cycle,” Stoddard said…

“Why is that important?” Hua Zhuan, the committee member from China asked.

Nora explains that an election can change a lot. “If we lose our pro-treaty majority, we are dead in the water,” she says. She mentions that her department could be defunded, which seems like the least of their worries—can’t the Senate un-ratify the treaty?

“One election can change all that?” Hua Zhuang continued.

“In the United States, one election can change everything.”

The end.

I could probably go on with end-of-book musings for a while, but I do think it’s worth mentioning that both Jody and Kadar, as characters, raise questions for me about Farris’ understanding of the “other side.” Neither of them acts in ways that sense. Kadar is supposed to not actually care about kids at all. She only cares about power. Okay, fine. But she also has people followed, shot at, and assassinated willy nilly, and yet she is still the chair of the committee. 

No really—how is Kadar not in jail? Did Jody not tell anyone what happened? One would think that her on-air disclosure about Kadar’s plan to blackmail Cooper would have been enough to sink Kadar. And if not that, surely the Loundoun County police wouldn’t have not reported an attempted assassination on their highway to someone higher up.

As for Jody—her transformation makes no sense. Someone who has spent their life fighting for children’s rights isn’t going to just drop it to become the TV host on a completely unrelated television program.

None of their actions actually made sense.

So. Next week! Next week I’m going to start reviewing Janette Oke’s Love Comes Softly. I’m not going to go chapter by chapter, though. I just reread the whole book over the past few days, and I think it’ll be conducive to much more summary, and maybe a totally of eight or ten installments. It’s far, far less objectionable than Francine Rivers’ Voice in the Wind, and it’s much better written than anything else we’ve reviewed. It also has a wide evangelical readership and fan base.

That’s it for Farris. See you next week!

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