I happened to read this book while looking for books to weed out from the school library. The title attracted me and the blurb at the back of the book caught my attention. I was not able to read it straight away and managed to read between breaks and before bed. This is not what I had imagined it to be.
From the blurb I felt it must be an emotional story about a teenage girl who has unplanned pregnancy. But what I read has captivated me. The story is split into two points of view, the first is the first person narrative presenting the events as Chris recalls them in retrospect, interspersed with a series of letters from Helen to their unborn child (Nobody), telling her side of the story as she experiences it. The letter that Helen wrote are addressed to “Dear Nobody,” since there are so many around her who urge abortion and want to convince her that what’s in her body isn’t a person.
Helen begins her letter with the fear of being pregnant.”You’re only a shadow. You’re only a whisper… Leave me alone. Go away. Go away. Please, please, go away”, is what she writes when she pens down her fears. But when her fears are confirmed she begins chronicling the lonely and also strangely exciting months of pregnancy, decision-making, altered relationship with family and with Chris.
The characters are realistic and develop along the story. Each having their shades of grey, which makes then believable.The other characters in the book lend various strands of subplot that give the book a satisfying complexity while losing nothing of the intensity of Helen and Chris’s developing predicament and the building pressures they’re under. The book offers no unsolicited advice on abortion or pregnancy, which is welcoming and also makes it a pleasant read.