“You never understand life until it grows inside of you.” - Sandra Chami Kassis
Karen Chaston’s book ‘Teenagers Playing Grown Ups’ tackles the subject of unplanned pregnancy among teenagers. Although an unplanned pregnancy can be a challenging time for a woman at any age, it can be even more so for a teenager whose brain isn’t developed enough to take an informed decision or think ahead of the consequences of their decision. In the four stories in the book, the author shares the experiences of four young women who chose different paths like marriage, abortion, single motherhood and adoption while dealing with their unplanned pregnancy.
The book recounts the experiences of four women who went through an unplanned pregnancy during their teenage years. These girls and their testimonials are all different from one another and have nothing in common except for the honest depiction of emotions by the author. Karen has also highlighted stories of mothers (including herself) who have overcome the heartaches and stress related with unplanned pregnancies and who have then gone on to achieve their dreams and have successful careers. In an easy to follow template, she provides great wisdom and inspiration to young women dealing with a new life growing inside of them.
Karen’s writing, especially in the two segments where she utilizes fictional characters (a compilation of many real women she met as part of her research) is spot on and brilliantly captures the mind of a young pregnant woman. Although predominantly a pro-life book, ‘Teenagers Playing Grown Ups’ also has a segment on the option of abortion and the experiences of woman who went ahead with it. The book stresses heavily on the point that once you have made a decision, you should move ahead without second guessing or doubting yourself.
It’s interesting to note that the protagonists in the author’s stories dealt with their pregnancies during an era when quality information wasn’t easily available and when the society’s attitudes were orthodox and regressive in nature. While we have come a long way since then in being able to access vast amounts of information anytime, the society still manages to generate feelings of loneliness, worry and shame in the minds of the young unwed pregnant girl. So books like these continue to be relevant and are a blessing not only to the pregnant girl but also for the boy in question and their families.
The author has tried to convey that children are a blessing and that we must learn to think outside of our preconceived notions of what a family should look like and move forward with acceptance and love in our hearts. And any book with such a positive message gets a double thumbs-up from my side.
Paperback: 252 pages
Publisher: Kazand Investments Pty Ltd (July 25, 2015)