I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Mama's Song by Ben Beaton
Published by Black Dog Books on 2009
Genres: fiction, general fiction, young adult fiction
Source: ARC received from publisher
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Georgina - a teenager, alone and pregnant - is estranged from her mother and father. When she seeks refuge in a country town, she discovers her grandmother has passed away, leaving her more alone than ever. It is here, in a small country hospital, that she must come to terms with the enormity of what she faces and the new life she is now responsible for.
I picked this book up because it was late (1am) and I wanted something easy to read before I turned out the light. At 2.30am I was finishing the final pages and marvelling that a man in his late 30s could write such a moving account of teenage pregnancy and motherhood.
As a mother, I found I could relate to many of the emotions Georgina was experiencing. I’m sure that the intended audience (mid to late teenaged girls), would be able to relate to many of the issues Georgina had with her parents and friends.
Mama’s Song explores some of the emotional issues related to teen pregnancy and parenthood without judgement or taking a specific moral standpoint. Georgina’s reflections on her past give an indication of how she arrived in her current situation – pregnant to a boy with no interest in her or her baby and estranged from her parents – without casting her as either a victim or reckless.
I enjoyed following Georgina’s gradual shift from focussing on her own uncertainties to adjusting to her new life and responsibilities and the contrasts and similarities between Georgina and the two other new mothers at the maternity hospital.
I think Mama’s Song presents an interesting perspective on the emotional impact of becoming a mother at a young age and on the emotional changes that motherhood in general brings. I found this book difficult to put down and will be looking forward to further books by this author with great anticipation.
You can watch Ben Beaton’s introduction to Mama’s Song on YouTube. As a side note, I wouldn’t mind browsing through the bookshelves behind Beaton when he is talking about writing Mama’s song. I recognise quite a few books that I already own, so I would be interested to see what other treasures might be hidden there as well. It’s a shame that Perth is on the other side of the country, as Beaton’s invitation at the end of his introduction to sit down over coffee and discuss Mama’s Song sounds quite tempting. I imagine it would be a fascinating conversation.by