Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stretch Marks by Kimberly Stuart

Kimberly Stuart has created a novel that isn't preachy, heavy-handed or even gushy on the subject of pregnancy without marriage. She's realistic, witty and creative in her new book, "Stretch Marks".

Mia is an underpaid social worker with a social conscience. Estranged from her mother, she has discarded all trappings of a lifestyle that would remotely please her mom, and has surrounded herself with a set of eclectic and unique friends.

Lars, her live-in boyfriend, is a writer of sorts...sharing Mia's passions, but little of her ambition. Frankie is a librarian that not only breaks all the molds of that profession...she obliterates them.

When Mia finds herself pregnant, her relationship with Lars vanishes and she's left to wonder if it will be up to her to weather this life change on her own. Enter Mother--Babs, cruise director and lover of all things non-Mia.

Can two generations come together and resolve their differences for the sake of the little one on the way? Kimberly tells the story with compassion and heart, not shielding the reader from the harsh realities of bearing and raising a child solo, but not bashing us over the head with the moral issues embeded in the situation.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the story, though. Definitely find it truer to real life than I'd prefer, but I still feel a bit unsettled by it all. Maybe because, as a mom, it was painful to see Mia in her situation. Maybe because, as a woman, I know too many younger women in Mia's shoes.

Maybe because, as a Christian, something rises up in me saying how this lifestyle choice is wrong. Maybe because, as a human, I'm just muddled about it all. Nevertheless, Kimberly is a talented writer.

She's evoked strong emotions in me, enough to make me want to be in Mia's inner circle of supporters. Which is odd, since Mia isn't real.

Or, is she? I'm giving "Stretch Marks" four out of five bookmarks, with an ultrasound image as a charm...boy or girl? You'll have to read the book to find out!

Happy Reading!



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Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

This sounds like a great book! It's a little different from what I normally read, but I've recently added it to my Wish List.

Thank you for sharing!
~ Lori

Kristi said...

I am getting ready to start reading this book tonight when I go to bed!