Jenna Fox can not remember who she was before the accident. She can’t even remember the accident. That’s just what her parents tell her. She was in a coma for over a year. Her parents tell her. She will remember who she was. Her parents tell her. But when memories of Jenna before the accident begin to seep into her mind, she slowly discovers she is no longer that person. Who is Jenna Fox?
Pearson’s novel is deep and poetic. The Adoration of Jenna Fox raises the difficult questions that we are already faced with, perhaps not to the extreme which she has illustrated in this book, but certainly there is controversy in medical science. The possibilities are limitless. The scenario of Jenna Fox was believable to me. We can do just about anything, but should we?
Pearson explores both sides of the issue, not sticking to one or the other, until perhaps the very last chapter, which was more like an epilogue. If there was one weakness in the book I would say it was this last chapter, which was a little too conclusive for me. However, throughout the main body of the story she strongly defends both sides. I found myself understanding each side, both sympathizing with and loathing each point of view. Life in any form is a gift, but when does the price of the life become too high? What is identity? Humanity? Soul? What parts of the body and mind make these things and when the parts start to be taken away, at what point are you no longer…you?
These are the questions that were raised to me. I have not answered them fully. I am still questioning, contemplating. I believe modern medicine is good, but I also believe that any good can be abused and the repercussions can be hideous. It’s a lot to think about for one human mind.
But the greatest message I got from this book was not about belief, ethics, or even possibilities. It was about love. And the hardest part of love, in life or death, is letting go.