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LOVE AND HAIGHT by Susan Carlton


by Susan Carlton

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 13th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8097-1
Publisher: Henry Holt

It's the end of 1971: prairie skirts, marijuana—and no Roe v. Wade.

Chloe and her best friend, MJ, drive to San Francisco to ring in the new year—and to get Chloe a legal abortion. Loaded up on Tab, they seek a decent women's clinic while staying with Chloe's wacky aunt Kiki, who enjoys public nudity, stores boxes in the oven and hangs ornaments from roach clips. But getting an abortion in San Francisco isn't as easy as Chloe hopes. Even in the city of free love, psychiatrists can be anti-abortion activists in disguise. When she finally discovers a good clinic, 17-year-old Chloe discovers she needs parental permission. Chloe's own fears and confusions play off against Catholic MJ's; MJ adores her friend but hates the reality of terminating a pregnancy. Neither Kiki nor Chloe's mother, still learning to negotiate the self-actualization of second-wave feminism with the responsibilities of parenthood, provide the kind of support Chloe wants. In the wild-and-crazy rock 'n' roll, aura-reading, yoga-filled, feathery environment of San Francisco, Chloe comes to terms with decisions only she can make. Ultimately, Chloe's story is not about abortion, but about a child becoming a young woman while rebuilding tenuous relationships with her loved ones.

A well-framed historical, with a wholly realized setting and believable, rich, likable characters. (Historical fiction. 14-18)