Would You Do What Ella Did?

Book Discussion

[Editor's note: Spoiler Warning!This discussion contains some spoilers for Seré Prince Halverson's The Underside of Joy. While we frequently try to avoid discussing content that contains spoiler this was a crucial point in the novel and worthy of discussion. - Karen]

In Seré Prince Halverson's The Underside of Joy, Ella had to make some very important decisions. It was never a question of if she would fight Paige's petition for custody of the children, but how she would fight it. Would she be honest? Would she give all the information that she had on hand?

At first it was an easy decision because she had no information. As far as she was aware, everything Paige was saying was a lie. But then they found the letters and that changed everything. Would she do as Joe's family wished and destroy or at least hide them? Or would she come clean and admit to their existence?

Pile of old letters and envelopes on a wooden table

Credit: Pile of old letters and envelopes on a wooden table via Shutterstock

I wasn't exactly Paige's biggest fan before Ella found those letters. I don't think many of us were. My opinion of Paige changed after those letters were discovered. Paige could no longer be thought of as the bad mother who abandoned her children and then lied about it. It made Ella's decision about what to do so much harder.

We all like to think that we're doing the right thing. It's easy to decide that you are right and making the right choices when everyone is telling you that you are and when you are convinced that you have all the facts. When those facts change, and you find out that the truth had been withheld from you, it can be much, much harder to hold on to your convictions.

When Ella told the court about the letters I heaved a big sigh of relief. I was worried she wouldn't, that she'd hide their existence. I wished that she had told them earlier but I was really glad that she told them at all. I also applauded her subsequent decisions not to allow the children to be separated and to temporarily move closer to them. They weren't really the best decisions for Ella's life (though they were for her conscience) but they were the right decisions for the children.

Could you do what Ella did?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.


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