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Book Review: Katy Regan's 'The Story of You'

 

Perhaps it’s the compassion in one, or the thought “there but for the grace go I” or the impression others may be worse off than you are, whatever, at this time of year one is supposed to be full of ‘goodwill towards all’. To absorb the story of Robyn might well add extra weight to these feelings.

Have some sympathy for her. She’s sixteen, falls prey to the girlish emotions far better kept under control and heigh ho, she’s pregnant. At sixteen? It happens . . . So what next? We all know what an awkward situation this can be, upsetting for parents, dramatically influencing a young girl’s life - and the consequences can be far reaching. In Robyn’s case, Joe offers to marry her, not a very practical proposition at this age but at least it demonstrates a care many another would shun.

Time moves on - Robyn suffers a miscarriage, loses her embryonic daughter (Lily) and it’s here where the story kicks off, with the psychological effects such an episode can have on her life.

She writes letters to her dead child, venting her wants, her agonies, her delights - a safety valve, one might say. By this time she has a job - working as a carer in the NHS - and with a circle of friends who exert some influence on her. She ditches a boyfriend when the relationship ‘isn’t going anywhere’ - when happily and coincidentally Joe re-enters her life.

Passions are re-kindled (in a farm building, of all places) and as you read your mind may say ‘here we go again’ and you’ll be right. Maturity may hopefully play its part, though she’s no longer a teenager but otherwise the same girl, with flashbacks, worries, and mood swings. Joe’s still around, being the right sort of guy - will they ultimately sort themselves out?

As an in-depth fictional study on this ever re-occurring problem of unwanted pregnancies, it’s good (once you’ve come to terms with the jargon of the age), and may even engender some sympathy when next you discover the gal down the road has had one disorganised fling too many . . .

Review written by Bruce Edwards

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