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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pregnant Pause - Han Nolan

Released September 2011

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Pregnant Pause is a refreshing take on teenage pregnancy. I've read many books on teen pregnancies and usually adoption or abortion are standard responses. Han Nolan delves into the indecision teens really face. She also takes a strong look at whether a teen is capable of raising a baby. Television glorifies it to an extent, Han Nolan takes an intimate look at the issue with honesty.

Eleanor "Elly" Crowe hates being told what to do. When she becomes pregnant, she's told she's either heading to Africa to remain under the watchful eye of her missionary parents or marrying the baby's father. At sixteen, Elly's not prepared for marriage, but it's the best option in her opinion. Soon, she learns marriage isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Working at her in-law's camp for overweight children turns out to be more rewarding than Elly imagined. Soon, she's bonding with the kids, but her marriage is a different story. Elly's sister wants Elly's baby for herself and the in-law's also want to adopt the baby. Pressure is on, and Elly's not really sure what she wants.

Pregnant Pause has a strong storyline. Elly's growth from the start of the book to the final  page is tremendous. There are a few twists thrown in during pivotal moments and they help Elly mature. If anything, its the parents that drove me nuts. I have little tolerance for parents who become so determined that they're right, no matter what, that I found myself wanting to shake some sense into them. However, it was their determination that really led me to root for Elly. Despite her past errors, I really felt like she had more maturity than anyone realized.

I've mentored a couple pregnant teens in my life. In both cases, the teens really felt they were the best parent for their unborn child and didn't cave to pressure from their parents. As a result, their parents alienated them, much like Elly's parents did with her. When one of the two girls went into early labor and her twins' lives were at risk, she remained in the hospital on a bed that tilted her head to the ground to reduce pressure off her cervix. This is not something a teen is prepared to experience, but she did it. I'm happy to say 20 years later that she kept her twins and became an RN. It's certainly not easy, but with support of a family, it is possible. Abortion and adoption are options, but not the best option for everyone.

Kudos to Han Nolan for painting a look at teen pregnancy from a different angle. I think Pregnant Pause is a must-read.

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