When Susan Tate's 17-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy for both Lily and herself.
Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high-school juniors who happen to be Lily's best friends - and the town turns to talk of a pact.
As fingers start pointing, the most ardent criticism is directed at Susan. As principal of the high school, she has always been held up as a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. As Susan struggles with the implications of her daughter's pregnancy, her job, financial independence, and long-fought-for dreams are all at risk.
The emotional ties between mothers and daughters are stretched to breaking in this emotionally wrenching story of love and forgiveness. Once again, Barbara Delinsky has given us a powerful novel, one that asks a central question: What does it take to be a good mother?
©2010 Barbara Delinsky; (P)2010 Random House
"A pregnancy pact between three teenaged girls puts their mothers' love to the ultimate test in this explosive new novel from Barbara Delinsky, a first- rate storyteller who creates characters as familiar as your neighbors." (Boston Globe)
This could have been a good book. The story line seemed very interesting. But alas, it's told from the point of view of one of the mothers. The mother is a high school principal who can't believe her 17 year-old daughter is pregnant even when the daughter tells her she took 6 tests, all positive. I'd love to see the high school principal who is so sheltered. Not to mention, I don't think Barbara Delinsky has any idea of what being a high school principal is like. It's a full time job - they don't leave @ 10:00 to go chat w/ friends, no matter what. The character is ludicrous.
All the parents constantly talk about how the pregnancies affect them. The first question - will they lose their jobs? Is it 1950???? The superintendent of the school district comes and asks the principal if her daughter had a boyfriend, was it just a mistake, is the girl using protection? Ridiculous.
The characters are plastic and stereotypical. I'm not even going to finish.
This book got more and more annoying as it went on. I generally like Cassandra Cambell's narrations, but her Maine accents are all over the place and kind of painful to listen to.
I like Delinsky's style and, for the most part, the character's she creates. she approaches this unusual topic from many angles and offers an unbalanced understanding of several POVs. the story seems to make light of an actual end result of the girls' decision, I think. The conclusion doesn't offer a fair 'end game' reality that these silly girls created for themselves - and their kids.
I had to read this as part of training for teaching teens about childbirth and being there as labor support for them. I found that this story did a marvelous job of getting into the very real emotions families deal with when a teen is pregnant. I found myself wanting to yell at the parents in the book, feeling empathy towards the girls and wanting to get started on educating teens in my community.
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