Not My Daughter
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published: December 9, 2008
Genre: chick lit
Audiobook: 10 discs
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (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 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?
My Thoughts: The premise of this book is what originally drew me to it. A few years ago, the nation was shocked that a group of teenage girls had formed a pregnancy pact, promising one another that they would all get pregnant at the same time (a Lifetime movie followed, of course). It was such a shocking story that it didn't seem real. Barbara Delinsky drew upon that scandal for this book, focusing a trio of best friends who form a pact one summer, vowing that they will all get pregnant. But instead of focusing on the girls and their issues, Delinsky focuses instead on one of the girl's mothers, Susan, who is the high school pricipal. Her experiences with teen pregnancy and the struggles she faced in raising a daughter all by herself are what really make this story.
The characters are strong and sure of their actions, which I really liked. There was development among the main characters, but they still stayed true to themselves. If there was one thing that I had to point out as being flawed in this book, it's the intensity of the parents involved. None of the mothers of the pregnant girls ever seemed truly upset by it. They would say they were, but there wasn't any emotion behind it. I felt like if they had expressed their feelings more, it would have made the story more believable. I enjoy Delinsky's work (even though it tends to be a bit long), and look forward to reading/listening to her again in the future.