Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teen-Age Pregnancy in the 1950's

I recently received a Kindle and have been enjoying downloading books and reading them voraciously. One of the books I read was THE THIRD FLOOR by Judi Loren Grace. This book told about an teenager in the 1950's who found herself pregnant and was sent away from her family to live in a home for unwed mothers, thus eliminating embarrassment to her family, especially her father, who was a politician.

I remember hearing of homes like this because I was a young teen-ager during the 1950's. I remember asking about one of the girls in my class who suddenly disappeared. The other girls snickered and giggled, embarrassed, as they told me she was gone to have a baby. I knew nothing about how this happened, but I tucked this information away. I never saw my classmate again. No doubt, she was spurned because she had had a baby out of wedlock.

In this book, the girls were made to live in dormitory-like rooms, but were never given any information about how babies were born or what would happen to them. They were told that whenever their labor pains began, they were to pack their suitcase and walk to the third floor, where their baby would be delivered. The girls in the dorms never saw their friends again. They were whisked out the backdoor of the third floor and sent back home, with or without their babies.

In this book, the main character told her story in the first person. She took her baby home, but her mother arranged a "back-door" deal and gave the baby away. Years later, she found her son, and also located her good friend from her time in the home.

Times have certainly changed from the 1950's. Now unwed pregnancy is not viewed as it was in the past. Girls who are pregnant before marriage are not treated today as they were then.

I recommend this book. It was well-written and the characters were real to me as I read it. It is a fast read. I downloaded it free on my Kindle.

1 comment:

  1. It wasn't much different in the 70s...but times sure have changed since then.