Can a good Catholic girl be pro-choice?
Addie Solokowski, a white sophomore at the all-girl Immaculate Heart Academy, fits the modern-Catholic-schoolgirl trope: indifferent to school; a top track athlete; and dates Craig, who attends brother school St. Luke’s, drinks too much, and plays in a band. She easily turns to his best friend and band mate, Nick, who confesses, after a mutual kiss, Craig has cheated on her. Addie and Nick are enjoying a deeply supportive, sex-positive, and erotic (though nascent) relationship when, due to unprotected sex, Addie becomes pregnant. Confident that the God of her faith will “let me / make my own choices,” she has an abortion. Though Addie struggles with her decision afterward, she remains solid in the fact that she made the right one, even as her relationships with Nick, her longtime friend and track teammate Claire, and running itself shift, and she begins a romance with an Immaculate Heart alumna named Juliana. Heppermann’s poetry floats readers through what could have easily turned into a didactic tome on religion versus abortion. But where readers land seems at best strange, with the sudden I-kissed-a-girl switch.
Abortion is a life-altering choice, but this book doesn’t go there. (Verse fiction. 14-18)