Not My Daughter; Barbara Delinsky
First let me say that I always seem to enjoy a Barbara Delinsky book. Not just because she is a New England author, but because her stories most always about real life situations. This particular novel is about a subject that would make most mothers of teenage girls cringe: A Pregnancy Pact.
In a nutshell Lily, Mary Kate and Jess are three teenage girls, lifelong friends, who decide it would be a great idea to get pregnant at the same time, so that their babies too could be friends. The girls are smart and popular, and even the mothers of these girls (Susan, Kate and Sunny) are friends.
Susan, the mother of Lily is the first to hear the pregnancy news. She thinks what her daughter has told her is a joke, but when she learns that she is serious, all the hopes and dreams that she had for the daughter she raised on her own, seem to be just that -- dreams. Susan always taught her daughter to be independent, and that it was possible for a woman to raise a well-adjusted child on her own.
Susan speaks from experience, as she too was pregnant at seventeen. She decided to raise Lily on her own; her own parents basically sent her on her way, and were never involved in Lily's life. Lily's father Rick, a successful news reporter, is still somewhat involved in his daughter's life and truly cares about Susan. Meanwhile, Susan has done well on her own, and is now a high school principal, and yes, at Lily's school. She has much to risk professionally, when the news of this pact breaks. Once it is out in the open, everyone seems quick to point the finger and place blame.
As I eagerly turned the pages of Not My Daughter, set in the small, close-knit (fictional) town of Zaganack, Maine it brought to mind a similar, true to life story I had heard about. An real life pregnancy pact in another coastal town, this one in Gloucester, Massachusetts. In case you haven't heard about that one, here is the link to the June 18, 2008, Time magazine article.
MY THOUGHTS - I enjoyed this book a lot. It was thought provoking, timely and emotionally gripping, but I was a bit disappointed by the ending -- to say more might spoil it for others who plan to read this book. Despite the ending, the book is an important story that is told and the book is RECOMMENDED - 4/5 stars
(Finished copy provided to me by Doubleday for review - many thanks)