Release Date: May 3, 2011
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When Susan Tate's 17-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy both for Lily and herself.
Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high school seniors who happen to be Lily's best friends - and the town turns to talk of a pact. But criticism of the girls quickly becomes criticism of their mothers, especially of Susan, who holds a visible position in town. As principal of the high school, she is considered a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. Susan is still struggling with the personal implications of her daughter's pregnancy, when she hears calls for her resignation.
But what of her close friendship with the two other moms? Are they any less at fault than she is? The friendships suffer - but shouldn't loyalty trump community pressure? And what of a fourth friend, who has power enough to minimize the fallout but whose own daughter has a murky tie to the pact?
Set in a small Maine town that cherishes responsibility, Not My Daughter raises many issues, not the least of which is the age-old question: What does it take to be a good mother?
“[A] thought-provoking tale …. Timely, fresh, and true-to-life, this novel explores multiple layers of motherhood and tackles rough questions.”
“Delinsky has a knack for exploring the battlefields of contemporary life… Not My Daughter [is] an emotionally intelligent [book that] offers readers what they want – high drama and realism.”
“Popular author Delinsky [tackles] tough issues … balances out the emotional angst [with] an absorbing story that will appeal to the author’s substantial fan base … teen girls will [also] be drawn in by this accessible novel’s focus on mother-daughter relationships and pact behavior.”
Susan Tate never saw it coming. She only knew that her daughter was different. The girl who had always been spontaneous and open, had suddenly grown opaque.
Lily was seventeen. Maybe that said it. A senior in high school, she had a loaded course schedule, played field hockey and volleyball, sang in an a capella group. And, yes, Susan was spoiled by the close relationship she and Lily had always had. They were a family of two, fully comfortable with that and each other.
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Where did I get the idea for this book? I keep an ongoing file of ‘next book ideas,’ but the best ideas are usually the ones I read about in the paper … tomorrow. Such was the case with Not My Daughter. Two things gained national attention last summer, when I was picking a plot: a spike in teen pregnancy, that some called a pact, in Gloucester, Massachusetts; and the news that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter was pregnant. Putting these two things together, I conceived of this book.
Not My Daughter is set in Zaganack, Maine. A small town, whose Penobscot name is roughly interpreted to mean, ‘people from the place of eternal spring,’ it is dominated by Perry & Cass, a retail, catalogue, and online giant that offers, among other things, bedding at PC Home, outdoor gear at PC Boots, coffee at PC Beans, sweets at PC Scoops, and kids’ clothes at PC Duds. It also sells PC Wool, founded by my four moms – Susan, Kate, Sunny, and Pam – and showcasing exquisite hand-painted yarn. I had to learn to dye for this book, and was able to sprinkle the story with snippets of the process.
What’s tongue-in-cheek about all this PC stuff, of course, is the pun. Are we talking Perry & Cass – or Politically Correct? Some in town consider them one and the same. I do not. Prepare for fireworks.
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