Tuesday 26 April 2022

Baby Love - Jacqueline Wilson

A heartbreaking, compelling and timely story for older readers about teen pregnancy, family trouble and unlikely friendships, set in 1960.

When Laura meets a French exchange student, Leon, she is flattered by his interest in her. She's never had any sort of boyfriend before.

One night, Leon walks Laura home - and her life will never be the same again.

Things start to change for Laura - first her moods, and then her body. Laura isn't prepared for what she learns next - and doesn't even know how it could have happened.

When her family learns her secret, they are horrified. Sent away to save them from shame, Laura meets girls just like herself, whose families have given up on them - and they become a family for each other at the most difficult time in all their lives.

An emotional and moving tale for fans of Dear Nobody and Juno.
Not suitable for younger readers.

What did I think?

I have never read any Jacqueline Wilson books before but her sparkling reputation precedes her, so I knew I was in for a good read…and I was not wrong.

The book itself is beautiful in hardback and I love the swinging sixties vibe that comes through in the font and illustration.  I always remove the dust jacket when I read hardbacks and I was delighted to find a floral decorated cover underneath.  A lot of thought has gone into the presentation of this book as the endpapers have flowers on them and each chapter has an illustration by Rachael Dean as a hint as to what it contains.

On to the writing and oh what a joy it is to read.  I can see why Jacqueline Wilson is an award winning author as I positively sailed through the beautiful narrative.  The story is heartbreaking and even more so when you think that this happened in real life to so many young girls.  It makes me so mad when unplanned pregnancies are blamed solely on the female; I mean I can instantly think of one phrase that I have actually heard in the past: ‘she got herself pregnant’.  Really? Was it an immaculate conception?

So, it made me mad and it made me sad but I was completely invested in Laura’s story from start to finish and I felt like I knew her personally.  Jacqueline Wilson has given thousands of ‘shamed’ women a voice through her powerful story and I absolutely loved it.

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