Attitude: Take Care → Positive
In Brief: Abortion treated as matter of fact by everyone except the mother-to-be.
Published in: 2003
Age Range: Mid Teens
Setting: Whitecross, a town near Bristol
- Mia is a 15-year-old who becomes pregnant and must decide what to do
- Mr Kitson, Mia's Dad is a high-school teacher who considers a teenage pregnancy to mean just another trip to the hospital to have it sorted out.
Mia and her boyfriend go too far in the fields one day and Mia finds that she is pregnant. She can't keep it quiet for long, and her father takes her to hospital for an abortion. She walks out and, wandering, joins a couple of travelling women on a houseboat until she has to go to hospital, fearing a miscarriage.
This is a book about one issue: teenage pregnancy and what to do. With the exception of the mother-to-be, who understands by reading a book about pregnancy that the baby inside her, whom she nicknames Little Bean, is real and alive, the other characters are quite happy to consider an abortion as the natural step to take in this case.
Support comes in part from her boyfriend's mother who applauds her courage in making a difficult decision, and from the staff in a hospital she visits after she fears a miscarriage: they treat her compassionately and as a normal person, not a problem to be got rid of.
Mia's Mum has walked out some years before and is now living with a man in Bristol; her Dad is taking a close interest in her form tutor.
The writing is par for the course: an easy-to-read narrative told in the third person from Mia's point of view.
Mia stopped on the wet pavement for a moment. Instinctively, her hands clutched protectively over her own belly. I'm sorry. Not out loud, but inside her head she spoke her first words to the little blob growing inside. Sorry, little bean. That was how she imagined it. A small bean nestled in a silk-lined pod. Like the broad beans Dad used to grow when she was little. Fat green pods sprouting off a straight stem. The flowers like black and white moths. You slit the pod to find the row of bright green beans snug in the white furred lining. Plucked them out
Tuesday 29th July 2003