pregnant pause

Pregnant Pause by Han Nolan

Released September 19, 2011.

Eleanor has always made the worst decisions but this one may top them all.  She’s now pregnant and married to her boyfriend.  Oh, and stuck in a cabin, at a weight-loss camp, with her in-laws who definitely don’t approve of her.  Her parents have left her to return to Kenya and their missionary work with AIDS infants.  Everyone wants Eleanor’s baby.  Her older sister who has been struggling with infertility wants the baby.  Her in-laws who lost a child in infancy want it too.  But Eleanor and her husband are the only ones who can decide what they are going to do.  As Eleanor works at the camp with the children, she learns that she has a real skill with kids.  And of course, she does it in her own way.  Now she just has to figure how to handle her marriage, pregnancy, and a baby.

Nolan’s writing is exquisite.  She has created a protagonist in Eleanor who is definitely a hero, but also challenges the reader with her anger, her biting wit, and her choices.  Eleanor reads as a real person, with self-doubts and real emotions that originate naturally from the story line.  Nolan writes with a confidence and skill here, showing that there is life beyond pregnancy but it is filled with difficult choices and unexpected events.

A strong and riveting look at teen pregnancy, this book reaches far beyond a single issue and straight to the heart of a compelling character.  Appropriate for ages 14-17.

Reviewed from ARC received from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group.

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