Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: Not My Daughter

Barbara Delinsky is an author I enjoy reading. Her books are often compelling and deal with such a wide variety of topics and situations that women can all relate to and empathize with. Her latest offering, Not My Daughter, comes straight from the headlines. In a small town in Maine, three teenaged girls make a pregnancy pact. These girls are in the top of their class, come from good homes and are preparing for college after graduation. None wants to get married, or even to have the babies fathers be a part of the picture. To make matters worse, one of the girls is the daughter of the high school principal, who happened to have been pregnant at 17 herself.  Their daughters soon find that an idea that seemed exciting in it's inception turns out to have consequences none of them could have anticipated.

In this small, conservative and inflexible community the principal finds herself under attack from the school board and the local newspaper, and as she fights to keep her job, she, her daughter, the others girls and their mothers find themselves struggling to defend themselves as women, and more importantly, as mothers. When do mother's trust that they've raised their children with the skills to make wise decisions, and how long do you monitor their day to day activities?   And how long do parents need to be held accountable for choices their children make?  Hard questions to answer.

The thing I liked about this book, aside from Delinsky’s talent as a wonderful writer, is that she brings up some hard topics and deals with hard choices many of us have to make as we go through life. Sometimes bad choices can be turned around, relationships repaired and open communication is the key. Delinsky is always good at showing her readers that we all have reservoirs of strength to pull from and that we can overcome and triumph over whatever adversity is thrown at us.

However, Not My Daughter is full of tension and contention. It was a very emotional read for me, and most of the time when I would put it down that tension would stay with me. A sign of a good writer and a good book, but I would caution you if you read this that you may not want to read it if you are feeling stressed out. Other than that, this is a terrific book by one of the best in women’s fiction.

1 comment:

Tara said...

Ummm...yeah. Not one I think I wanna read.