Friday, March 20, 2015

Not My Daughter

Not My Daughter
Barbara Delinsky

Not My Daughter

Genre: women's Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): When Susan Tate’s seventeen-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 inconceivable tragedy both for Lily and herself.  Then comes word of two more pregnancies among other high school juniors who happen to be Lily’s best friends.  The town turns to talk of a pact.  As fingers start pointing, the emotional ties between mothers and daughters are stretched to breaking in an emotionally wrenching story of love and forgiveness.
Review:  This was exactly the kind of book I felt like reading yesterday - a well-written tale of a serious crisis that impacts a woman's relationship with her daughter and friends.  The topic of teenage pregnancy and pacts was a serious one, but the book itself was quick and easy to read; I read the whole book in one day because I didn't want to put it down.  Delinsky has always been able to make me feel connected to her characters; she has a lovely way of writing conversations between women and thoughts in a woman's head that seem completely realistic.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would love to discuss some of the issues it raised with friends - namely, what does it mean to be a good mother, and why are mothers judged for their kids' behavior when fathers are not.

However, I felt like there were a few flaws in this book; her normally flowing prose had a few stilted moments that were unexpected from such a gifted writer.  And I would have preferred to learn more about each of the mothers, rather than having just a few short sections dedicated to Susan's interesting friends.  I was also angry at how the families came to accept their daughters' actions so easily with no real consequences for the teenage mothers.  It's impossible to know what I would do in that situation (another good book club question!) but I would at least make sure my daughter understood that she had to notify the father and be prepared to share custody with him, and make decisions in the best interest of the child, not her selfish self.

Rating: 4 stars

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