Susan Tate lives in a small town in Maine, a single mom of a 17-year-old daughter named Lily, and the high school principle. She’s struggled to overcome her past – getting pregnant at 17, being disowned by her family for it – but now, she’s suddenly faced with a new struggle: Lily is pregnant, and not only is she pregnant, but she and her best friends all got pregnant together. On purpose.
This is a very broad novel, discussing teen pregnancy, pact behavior, family issues, parenting, friendship and loyalty, morality, small-town narrow-mindedness, politics, truth, and blame. It is decently written, but a bit…over the top, I suppose. It tried to tackle too much, for me, and in addition to that, it all wrapped up a bit too neatly. Bad things happened, but in the end, they were all overcome. Susan kept her job. Lily’s sick baby healed well with no complications. Everyone was friends again at the end. Susan started a new relationship with her estranged mother. Susan and Rick got together. Happily ever afters for everyone. Even the three pregnant girls…they aren’t HAPPY anymore about what they’ve missed out on in becoming mothers, but their pact, well, it worked. They have each other to lean on, at least, and considering that was a BIG part of the epilogue, it felt almost as if the author was saying, “Well, if you get pregnant young, at least do it with a few of your friends, so you have a support system.” Cringe.
It was the sort of book I would have stopped reading, normally, especially as this was an audio performance and I didn’t particularly like the narrator. Kept putting accents in that drove me crazy. I listened to it mostly while flying to Portland and back, though, and I needed SOMETHING to do, so I kept going. It wasn’t a BAD book, but it’s completely unmemorable, and I know it’s not going to stick. The sort of book I said I’d make sure I’d give up if I came across this year. I guess at least it was entertaining enough to get me through two days of travel.