Friday, November 25, 2011

The Girl Who Couldn't Say No, by Tracy Englebrecht


Tracy was a young girl from South Africa who found herself in the "family way" at the age of fourteen.  Through the book, we learn what it is really like to be a teen mom, how it affects your life in the long run, and how your life need not be the tragic cliche we all associate with teen parenthood.  We also learn that in order to survive, one must have a sense of humor.

I really enjoyed this book.  I felt like Tracy gave an honest and endearing account of her experience as a teen mother.  Our culture is currently obsessed with teen parenting, and the drama that it can create.  One need only to look at MTV's program line up to confirm this.  Yet Tracy shows that, while teen parenting is not what most girls dream of, nor is it the optimal situation, it does not have to mean a death sentence or doom the mother to a life of trashy drama.  I loved that Tracy did what she needed to do to make life as good as possible for her kids.  I also loved the fact that Tracy parents gave her so much support.

A few reviewers have criticized the fact that Tracy talked about her dating life, and (gasp) the fact that she had sexual partners after have a child at such a young age.  Um, hello, what century are you living in?  Why is it wrong for a young, healthy woman to have, and heaven forbid, enjoy sex?  Why is it so awful that she sought out love and partnership?  

There are definitely some parts of the slang and some cultural references which we foreign to me, being fairly unfamiliar with South African culture, but that did not hinder my ability to appreciate this book.  It is a nice, lighthearted memoir (not all memoirs have to be heartrending and melodramatic by the way) that made me laugh.  I appreciate the honesty, and really enjoyed the nice easy read.  Memoir fans who appreciate lightheartedness would enjoy the book, as would many fans of the teen mom type reality television shows. 

This book was from my personal library.


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