Sixteen-year-old Sydney finds herself pregnant and practically alone, reeling from her parents’ decision to send her to Canada on a canoeing/camping trip in response to her recent rebellion. During her time on the river and in the wild, with help from her best friend Natalia, she slowly comes to grips with the decision she has to make and how it will affect the rest of her life.
Confession: When I finished this book, I wanted to throw it across the room and smash up some furniture. The only thing stopping me was the fact that it was checked out from my local library and we live in a rented apartment. Don’t get me wrong, the story was beautifully written and Sydney’s character was developed as well as a sixteen-year-old can be portrayed, but the selfishness that she exuded by her decision just disgusted me. SPOILER ALERT!!!
I cannot help but bring in a part of my life story at this point in time. My mother found out she was pregnant with me when she was barely eighteen and my father was barely seventeen. I was born in August, my parents married in November and my father graduated from high school the following May. They most definitely had the opportunity to abort me or give me up for adoption. By the grace of God, my grandparents’ wisdom and a show of selflessness on the part of my parents, I am alive and thriving today and my parents will celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary in November. However, their journey was not without struggle.
But back to the novel. Sydney’s reasoning behind her decision, while thought-out and calculated, was extremely self-centered in its nature. I would hate for young women to believe that this is an acceptable way out of the situation that she found herself in. Today, I am taking a stand against abortion and should thank my mother every day for her stand against it as well. I do not know the authors’ background or history on the topic, but I would love a chance to hear her thoughts behind the conclusion of this novel.
Honestly, the most frustrating issue with this book is that it was well written and I can see young women connecting with the main character and her best friend on many levels. But please, for the sake of life and beauty, let us not condone taking a life when a better way presents itself.
Every Little Thing in the World
by Nina de Gramont
Published by Atheneum