Sunday, September 28, 2014
Not My Daughter, by Barbara Delinsky
The three girls, despite their ostensible intelligence, didn't seem to consider that their behaviour would disrupt their social lives at school, cause a firestorm in the community and put their parents in tenuous positions, both socially and professionally.These girls are from upper middle-class, but more important, loving and grounded families. They are not having babies to fill emotional voids. When asked why on earth they've willfully decided to get pregnant at 17, the only answer any of them can proffer is that they all like babies. None of it is believable. Their parents, friends and neighbours can't get their heads around it, and neither can we readers.
It all ends happily -- the principal keeps her job and marries the father of her daughter (and the grandfather of their new grandson). The three girls deliver three lovely, healthy babies, although one of them has a scare during the pregnancy, wailing that it had never occurred to her that she could have anything but a perfect baby. Again, I could only shake my head and resist the urge to throttle my Kindle in lieu of the naive, irresponsible, clueless girl.
I know that pact behaviour amongst adolescents is an alarming thing, whether they're suicide pacts, pregnancy pacts, drinking & drugging pacts, or whatever. This novel brought me no closer to understanding the dynamics of teen pacts, and the happily-ever-after ending certainly whitewashed any negative effects in this case. All's well that ends well? So it would seem. What can I say? I'm just happy that none of Ms. Delinsky's feckless teenagers is my daughter.