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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Sharon Levi is fifteen. Sharon Levi is pretty. And Sharon Levi is in love for the first time. Sharon is a typical Jewish princess who anticipates a future wrapped around the ideals of her faith and family beliefs. But this is not a typical tale of unrequited love. Even with her staunch religious background, Sharon finds herself pregnant and without an ounce of family support. Either her mother takes her to Mexico for a secret abortion or she spends her pregnancy in a home with other girls in a similar situation. All Sharon wants, though, is to marry Irish, nicknamed for his heritage, and raise their child as a family. No matter the decision, her father makes certain that Irish is placed behind bars with no hope of contacting Sharon again. For nearly six months Sharon endured the cruel environment of the House of Girls and experienced the heartache of hoping for a happy ending. All of the girls at the House leave without a baby. Sharon refuses to fall into that category. She refuses to sign away custody of her baby because Sharon Levi does not plan to leave The House empty handed.
House of Girls by Joyce Shor Johnson twisted my heart. Johnson’s vivid detail of Sharon’s raw sadness and desperation drew me into this riveting story. As an educator of young adults, I have seen first-hand the difficult decisions handed to our youth. Growing up is not a simple task. Johnson explores the complications of maintaining family values while avoiding the conflicts that can develop. I thoroughly enjoyed House of Girls.