Friday, September 6, 2013

An Accidental Life-Pamela Binnings Ewen

An Accidental Life

Pamela Binnings Ewen

B&H, Sep 1 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9780805464320

In 1982 New Orleans, rival attorneys Rebecca Jacobs and Amalise Catoir feel good as they break the male only glass ceiling by becoming partners at Mangen & Morris law firm. However, Rebecca suddenly feels nauseous and decides she must make that call next week.

Meanwhile in nearby Getna, Rebecca’s husband, senior ADA Peter, finds himself working a horrifying case with powerful ethical issues and potential national legal impact. Teenager Glory Lynn Chasson went to the Alpha Woman’s Clinic in Metairie for an abortion, but claims she heard her baby cry and decided to keep her child; the staff told her the baby died. She claims a live-birth homicide occurred.

The sequel to Chasing the Wind focuses on two interesting issues: live-birth abortions and women breaking through the top management glass ceiling in the 1980s. Both subplots are well written, but the female rise to partnership pales next to the abortion issue. In fact the best part of the engaging storyline occurs at the clinic, in the Office of the DA and in the courtroom. Based on a real case, An Accidental Life raises the issue of abortion survivors who in some cases apparently are immediately executed.

Harriet Klausner

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