Look at You Now: My Journey from Shame to Strength

Liz Pryor. Random House, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9800-9
When she was 17, Pryor (What Did I Do Wrong?) promised her mother she would never divulge the story of her teen pregnancy. But before her mother died, Pryor asked whether she could share the experience, and her mother agreed. This poignant and quite engrossing memoir details the five months of 1980 that Pryor spent in a locked facility for pregnant, delinquent teens in a small Indiana town. Pryor was free to come and go as she pleased, but she soon found that there was really no place to flee. Instead, she spent her confinement getting to know the other teens, many from juvenile detention houses or foster care. Pryor’s upbringing had been privileged; she grew up in a wealthy suburb of Chicago, the fifth of seven children. She adored her parents (who eventually divorced) and her “extraordinary life.” When her pregnancy was discovered, however, her parents’ primary concern was keeping it secret; she was spirited away and instructed to place the baby for adoption. Instead of “ruining her life,” her pregnancy and friendships with the “degenerate unfortunate” girls (as her mother referred to them) opened both her heart and her eyes to another world. Readers will swiftly be drawn into the author’s compassionate retelling of her teen pregnancy—her fear, shame, regret, joy, and even her forgiveness of her parents for sending her away. This coming-of-age memoir is authentic and unforgettable. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2016
Release date: 06/28/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-8129-8754-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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