Thursday, September 12, 2013

Love & Haight, by Susan Carlton. Henry Holt & Company, 2012

Chloe is seventeen and pregnant- even though she used protection the one and only time she had sex. It’s 1971 and Roe v Wade is still two years in the future, and abortion is only legal in California and New York. Chloe lives in Arizona. Lucky for her, she has an aunt who lives in San Francisco and a friend willing to take a road trip with her over winter break. So Chloe and MJ find themselves in ‘Frisco with no real idea where aunt Kiki lives, unable to get hold of her by phone, and it’s getting late. That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the trip- nothing goes easily or as planned. Abortion may be legal, but there are still hoops to jump through to obtain one, especially for someone under 18. Add to this Chloe’s occasional doubts about her proposed action, her feelings about her previous relationship with MJ’s brother, and the fact that Kiki is a stoner performance artist and you’ve got it.

The book is very short, and I think because of this the characters aren’t developed very well. MJ seems to serve as chauffer and conscience; Kiki is the cool adult; Chloe’s mother is the feminist. MJ’s brother, Teddy, is the good guy Chloe should have waited for- the perfect, understanding guy. Even Chloe’s portrayal seems rather surface, which is odd, given that the book is from her POV. But the author does get the feel of the time and place well. The characters all fit that time and place, even if they aren’t deep. I knew people like Kiki and Chloe’s mother! It’s a very quick read, and while not great, it’s not bad, either, and would serve as a good book for a young teen to introduce them to the issue of abortion.

I do have to say that it was alarming to find an era I lived through listed as ‘historical fiction’! 


The above is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy the book, Amazon gives me a few cents. This in no way influences my review.

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