[dropcap type=”4″]A[/dropcap]s the number of babies born with Down syndrome continues to plummet, local author Sherry Boas hopes people will ponder the unintended consequences.
Boas, the adoptive mother of four children, including a daughter with Down syndrome, released her latest book, “Things Unknown to Lily” on March 21, World Down Syndrome Day.
The freshly published novel is the fifth in a series of books in which Lily, a woman with Down syndrome, is one of the main characters. Boas came up with the idea for the series of books one night when she was tucking in her daughter Teresa. She saw herself in the future as an elderly woman and imagined the joy her daughter would bring. What if she had not come into their lives? What if they had told the adoption counselor that they would not receive a child with Down syndrome?
“The whole point of the book is to look at what is the value of one life and what one life can mean to everyone else in the world, even a life that is judged by the world as less perfect or less important,” Boas said.
Each book in the Lily series makes subtle points about such widely divergent topics as drug abuse, aging, marital difficulties, finding true love and sterilization.
The fourth book, for example, is narrated by a geneticist who has the opportunity to develop a vaccine that will prevent the conception of babies with Down syndrome. The running question posed to readers is, would that be a good thing for humanity?
In her latest tome, Boas focuses her aim on the topic of depression. With about one in 10 Americans suffering from the condition, there’s the potential to influence a wide swath of readership. Boas admits it was a difficult topic to explore.
In “Things Unknown to Lily,” the focus is on Lily’s grown nephew, John, a man struggling with depression, and his wife, Charlotte.
“There is something about his relationship with Lily that causes him to grieve and there is something about her that will cause him healing,” Boas said of the book.
And although depression is the topic at hand, readers walk away with a sense of hope after reading this book, just as they do in the others of the series, though it’s by no means a sugar-coating of the reality of suffering.
“The problems aren’t solved and the difficulties don’t go away, just like in real life,” Boas said, “but there is hope and we know God is going to be with us through it.”
Boas, a St. Anne parishioner, spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter before launching a career as a novelist. She’s also the author of “Wing Tip,” a book that examines the healing power of love and the sacrament of Confession, as well as “Billowtail,” a children’s book, and a rosary meditation book.