My Name is Emily: Book Review

A tale of a pregnant teen.

Sarah M. Baker June 22, 2014
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my name is emily

A poet and dreamer at heart, Emily has always wanted to do something great with her life. Now, one tiny thing threatens to destroy all her hopes and dreams. A story of beauty in the midst of loss and hope in the midst of storms.

My Name is Emily is a book written by London Henry. In this book, Henry tells the story of a teen girl facing an unplanned and at times, unwanted pregnancy. Emily is a creative child who loves to write poetry and seems to have a kind soul. She is like a second mother to her younger brother and is very aware of her surroundings and loves to daydream about the future.

The first few chapters introduce us to Emily as a child. Each chapter giving us a glimpse at a year of her advancing age. Then at 15, Emily is pregnant. It tells a tiny bit about who the father is, but never gives us details of the encounter and how the conception happened. Really the circumstances that lead to it are irrelevant–this is Emily’s story. The small snippet is just enough back story on who the boy was and that his family moved away shortly after. They had agreed that they would not stay in touch.

Emily is taking a class in school with other pregnant teens to learn about pregnancy, childcare, and options. Emily is faced with the very real situation of pregnancy and considers her options. She mulls over abortion and learns about the time table in which it is legally allowed to be done. She considers the medical milestones the fetus is going through and decides abortion is not the best path for her. After that, Emily continues to struggle with the remaining options of parenting or adoption. She is terrified for either. She is growing to love this baby, but she is also fearful of what it will mean for her own hopes and dreams and begins to fear that parenting will not only hold her back, but also hold back the life she is growing within.

My Name is Emily is a short story; it only takes about an hour to read the whole thing. It gives a glimpse of the emotions anyone who faces pregnancy at the wrong moment in life must have. I wouldn’t normally pay $5.99 for an ebook this short, but after learning that the author’s goal was to sell enough ebooks that he could pay to publish hard copies and deliver them to every pregnancy clinic in the nation, I felt like my purchase was more of a donation to education.

Not everyone is pro-life, and honestly, I am am more pro-education than pro-life. I am personally not a fan of abortion, but I see the argument of keeping it legal. This book doesn’t advocate adoption, but it does give it as an option. It doesn’t outright come out against abortion, but it gives Emily’s views on why she chose to not pursue it. I think this is an educational book on options for a girl (or woman) faced with an unplanned pregnancy and presents them in a story format that can be related to. As I am personally the child of a teen mother, I think this gave me a glimpse of all the sacrifices she must have made in order to parent me.

On a side note, one of the things I found very charming in the book was that every chapter included a favorite poem by Emily or one that spoke to her at the time of her situation. This one, I particularly loved:

Sing with me the song of the bluebird
perched high up in the tree
She sings to her little birds
songs but a whisper upon a summer breeze
My heart sings with her a song of hope
from the ground beneath
it sings to teach and strengthen
for when our little ones leave their nest
Let them take along in their flight
songs from their mother
to always teach, remind, to shine
our love, our hope, our dreams
Fly away, they will
it will soon be time
but your mother will always be with you
she lives within the songs of your heart
songs that breathe hope
when it storms, when it’s dark
when it’s cold and so hard to believe
you will remember this song of spring

So, what will the young Emily choose? Parenting or adoption? Read it to find out!

For more information on London Henry, you can follow him on Facebook.  This book and another from a boy’s perspective called, Painting Shadows, can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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Sarah M. Baker

Sarah is a Staff Storyteller for Adoption.com and passionate about teaching others the power of open adoption. She is very active in the adoption community, where she spends a lot of time advocating as the founder of Heart For Open Adoption. She is the mom of two boys in addition to parenting her niece. She is a mother biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. Sarah promotes adoption education and ethical adoptions. She and her husband were featured on Season 2 of Oxygen’s “I’m Having Their Baby,” which tells the story of their first adoption match failing. Sarah hopes to bring her personal experience to you and help anyone who wants more information about adoption to find it with ease. Though it was once a taboo subject, Sarah hopes to make adoption something people are no longer afraid to talk about. You can learn more about Sarah and her family on her blog.


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