Friday, December 25, 2009

Not My Daughter-Barbara Delinsky

Not My Daughter
Barbara Delinsky
Doubleday, Jan 5 2010, $24.95
ISBN: 9780385524988

In Zaganack, Maine, the three high school students BFFs Lily, Mary Kate and Jess forge a pregnancy pact. Soon afterward, seventeen years old Lily informs her single mom Susan, who also happens to be the high school principal, that she is carrying a child. Susan is stunned that her daughter would do this as she failed to learn from her mom that kids having kids is not good. Kate and Sunny learn their teens Mary Kate and Jess respectively are also pregnant.

Meanwhile the school board of old men blames Susan and her progressive example for the outrageous pact. As each of the parents struggle, Susan reflects back on what her father and mother did to her by kicking her out of their home so she turns to her daughter’s father global photojournalist Rick for emotional help especially when Lily’s pregnancy has health issues and the boys involved along with their parents are unsure of their roles.

This is a profound look at a deep societal issue involving teen pregnancy. The cast is especially strong as the townsfolk specifically the board, the mothers and their pregnant daughters, and to a lesser degree the involved males are fully developed so that the readers understand their perspectives and hidden agendas. Susan especially is an incredible protagonist as she sort of goes through the phases of grief. Although the ending is to sugary perfect with resolution, fans will appreciate the road to get there.

Harriet Klausner

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