ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS by Doug Most

ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS

The Story of Amy Grossberg, Brian Peterson, and the Baby They Didn't Want
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A true-crime page-turner about the privileged New Jersey teens who made headlines after callously discarding the baby they never wanted into the trash bin of the hotel where they secretly gave birth. Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson seemingly had it all: privileged northern New Jersey suburban upbringing, successful senior years, a competitive education. Notably lacking in that curriculum was a good sex education class, though, because, as Most relates, when Amy discovered she was pregnant at the end of her senior year, she and Brian spent most of the first trimester—indeed, most of the pregnancy—hoping “it” would simply disappear. The method they finally chose in November of their freshmen year in college shocked a nation used to reading this kind of sordid tale in urban (read poverty-stricken, less educated) environs. Bergen Record reporter Most, who wrote over 150 articles as the case unfolded, expertly recreates the shameful story here, tracing both teens’ childhoods, the mindset of the tony town in which they lived, and the many ways in which their parents, friends, and, yes, society were unwitting accomplices in the death. Overall, Most lets the story tell itself, although he does get a little heavy-handed at times as he repeatedly notes the ways in which competitive parents helped create the situation. Most ends by noting that he hopes “parents with Amys and Brians in their homes will be forced to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they know their children. Not their grade-point average, their after-school activities, and their career track, but their habits, their friends, their sexual maturity, and their experiences with drugs.” Anyone who believes sex education doesn’t belong in the classroom or that parenting is merely a question of keeping track of their kids’ grades should read this sad cautionary tale. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-9654733-5-X
Page count: 280pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999