Thursday, March 1, 2007

Teenage Single Mom

Awesome graphic novel that I just finished

Even though right now I don't have much in the way of disposable income, and I am usually pretty frugal, I went to the local comic book store the other day and bought The Amazing "True" Story of a Teenage Single Mom. It was an interesting find, and even though it was $16.00, I decided to treat myself to an hour of entertainment.

I'm going to try not to give away the whole plot, because it is honestly a book everyone should read (and I could even see reading it to kids, although some of the scenes are a little graphic), so here goes: It's a first person perspective of one woman's life as a young mother. She faces not only adversity from being a woman, but also from having made a "mistake" by having sex at a young age. Because as someone told her while she was pregnant, "But someone said I made my bed, so I should lie in it." (Not only her figurative bed, but the bed she is implied to have laid in before her pregnancy.) After her baby, she laid in her bed and dreamed about her future.

She struggles through menial jobs to scrape out a living, and she ends up leaving her situation with a guy who turns out to be abusive. Then it is revealed that she has been around abusive people her whole life, from her mother (who didn't want anything to do with her and let her sister raise her), to her sister's husband (who almost raped her), to her baby's father (a random man who raped her after her sister kicked her out for fighting back against her husband).

But in the end, it's a story of hope (or else she wouldn't have been able to write this book), and it has a happy ending. I haven't given away the whole plot, mind you, because there are a lot of details and events that happen in her life. Also, the graphic novel is worth reading because the pictures are very interesting (the rapists and abusers in her life slowly turn from normal looking people into monsters). Whenever I read stories like these (see A Child Called "It" too), I always think it's so amazing that these people were able to overcome such hardships and tragedies to become the people that they are today.

The book at least one issue familiar to feminists: women who have babies (especially young mothers) and are unmarried are very publicly judged and people just assume that these "sluts" just got what they deserved. Of course, having a baby before marriage is wrong, because it fouls the property that only the husband can rightfully claim on his wedding night. (After marriage, babies turn from "mistakes" into "blessings".)

I'm a bit brain dead from my work schedule to offer much more than this short review, but this book is definitely worth a read, and I'll be keeping it around in my library and probably lending it out to friends.


LaurenB said...

You know what? I'm totally buying this. All I needed to see was the title pic. Thank you.

chapstickaddict said...

Oh yay! I usually don't like spending my money on graphic novels because I finish them in two hours, but this was worth it. It really was a good story.