For listeners of Orange Is the New Black and The Glass Castle, a riveting memoir about a lifelong secret and a girl finding strength in the most unlikely place.
In 1979 Liz Pryor is a 17-year-old girl from a good family in the wealthy Chicago suburbs. Halfway through her senior year of high school, she discovers that she is pregnant - a fact her parents are determined to keep a secret from her friends, siblings, and community forever. One snowy January day, after driving across three states, her mother drops her off at what Liz thinks is a Catholic home for unwed mothers - but which is, in truth, a locked government-run facility for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teenage girls.
In the cement-block residence, Liz is alone and terrified, a fish out of water - a girl from a privileged, sheltered background living amid tough, street-savvy girls who come from the foster care system or juvenile detention. But over the next six months, isolated and in involuntary hiding from everyone she knows, Liz develops a surprising bond with the other girls and begins to question everything she once held true.
Told with tenderness, humor, and an open heart, Look at You Now is a deeply moving story about the most vulnerable moments in our lives - and how a willingness to trust ourselves can permanently change who we are and how we see the world.
©2016 Liz Pryor (P)2016 Random House Audio
"Engrossing.... Readers will swiftly be drawn into the author's compassionate retelling of her teen pregnancy - her fear, shame, regret, joy, and even her forgiveness of her parents for sending her away. This coming-of-age memoir is authentic and unforgettable." (Publishers Weekly)
"Pryor's refusal to bury the truth of her experiences is the greatest strength of her book. Her honesty about a youthful error and desire to let that honesty define the rest of her life are both uplifting and inspiring. An unsentimental yet moving coming-of-age memoir." (Kirkus Reviews)
"I started reading this book thinking it was a compelling, honest, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant look at the world of teenage pregnancy, and knowing it would offer an inside look at the places where girls used to be hidden away until their babies came. I finished it damp-eyed and understanding that Look at You Now is much more than that. It is a story about how family dynamics work. It is about how wrenching it is to give away something born of your flesh, even if you know it's the right decision. It's about how much we can learn from people very much different from us. Most of all, it is a subtle, graceful story about how sometimes the worst things in our lives work best to shape our characters into something shining and true, something that will serve us for the rest of our lives. Liz Pryor says she will never forget the girls she shared that time of her life with. I will never forget this book. I really, really loved it." (Elizabeth Berg, author of The Dream Lover)
Great story of overcoming major life challenge. Can't believe the maturity of Liz. Had to keep reminding myself that this really happened. When is book 2 coming out?!
Liz, truly a page turner. Thanks for letting the reader experience your journey as if they were right there with you. Sandy P.
I presently live in Central TX after spending 35 years in S FL. I was born and grew up in NW LA. I have been a reader my entire life.
It is a little mild surprise that the protagonist ends up in a home for unwed teens. I didn't think they existed any more. The placement in the 1970's probably lends authenticity tiby
Compelling, heart-felt story. You could empathize with the characters and their various back stories. I think the writing is very good, good character development. In general I don't like a ton of profanity, but here it's purposeful. You know this was the way these characters spoke. It helped define them and the environment from which they came. It made them real and relatable. It also made it easier to see why Liz' mother related to them the way she did.
The author should not have narrated this book. It's as if she's reading a text book or something - very mundane, no emotion most of the time. Virtually every sentence ends with her voice falling off. Boring, boring, boring. I would have stopped listening because of the narration, but kept going until the end because I wanted to hear how it all turned out.
I felt interestingly connected to the story. My mother had me at the same age only a few years after this story takes place. Its interesting to see how times have changed in such a short time. I also identify with Liz in how she feels about her parents at the end, two odd bookends that somehow manage to hold her up in their own way. Great read and a powerful story for someone to be brave enough to share. I'd be interested in knowing if she ever got in touch with any of the other girls...
I was attracted to this book because I was the same age as Liz Pryor in 1979 and remember a girl I knew who was pregnant whose strict Catholic parents hid her away until she had her baby. The baby was adopted through Catholic services. I often wondered how this changed the young mother's life.
I loved this book, especially as narrated by Liz. I would have loved to have known more about her life and if she had found a mate and had more children she would raise. Was she ever reunited with her child or even know the gender, etc., etc?
I guess a good book wants you yearning for more.
I loved this book. Liz is a great story teller and this book made me feel so many emotions and brought back so many memories of what it is like to be 16 and going through something difficult. It's amazing to see how much she changes and grows over 5 months.
Pregnant rich girl gets whisked off to live at a juvenile pregnancy/detention center to have her baby undetected. She of course does outreach with the other girls while there. Has her baby and returns to her normal life just in time for high school graduation. Obscene amount of profanity and non-existent moral code.
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