★★★★ God’s Other Son by Bernard E. Wooley follows the lives of two families who are connected but are unaware of their connection until the story’s end. A young Jewish woman named Miriam Miller sees a very bright and strange light outside her window; she soon ends up becoming pregnant. At the hospital, a doctor and a physician’s assistant confirm that she is still a virgin. Miriam isn’t sure, but she suspects that somehow the light she saw is connected to her pregnancy. Because Miriam isn’t married and can’t explain how she became pregnant, her father convinces her to give the child up for adoption. Miriam’s father, Hiram Miller, is a senator. Trying to avoid controversial news coverage that could hurt his political career, he sends Miriam away to her grandparents’ house to hide the pregnancy. A Christian couple ends up adopting Miriam’s son, naming him J. C. and taking wonderful care of him until adulthood. Miriam goes on to marry and has another son. J. C. grows up to become the youngest pope in history.
The majority of God’s Other Son is split between telling the story of Miriam’s family and her second son, James, as well as J.C. and his adoptive parents, Mary and Joseph. The stories of the two families are touching, interesting, and beautifully written with wonderful coming-of-age details of the boys’ lives as they grow up and become men. Truthfully, after J.C. becomes the pope, the plot does begin to seem forced and becomes a bit far-fetched. But the great majority of the book forms a heart-felt tale of two families and is extremely fun to read.