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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Never Let Me Go hit so close to home it scared me. Not because my own life experience was similar to that of Nicole Lowe's, the author of this memoir, but because how Nicole felt, what she did as a teen, and why she did it reminds me too much of my own teenage granddaughter. As a result, let me begin this review with a strong suggestion that if you are the parent of a child who wanders the streets at night, disappears for a day or two, and never wants to hang with the family at home, read this book! Your child might just be another teenage Nicole Lowe.
By the age of 13, Nicole, in her search for her true self, had allied herself with a group of Goths who believed in a parallel universe, who believed they had already passed over to the other side and were searching for their soul mates in a world where happiness lay in frequent acid trips. Nicole went from a straight A student to a high school dropout. Fellow Goth, Michael, took her under his protection when she suffered constant nightmares after being raped. In time, it was Michael from whom she needed protecting. That protection came with her escape, abetted by Sam, with whom she fell in love. With Sam, her life on the road began. Survival depended on dumpster diving, stealing from shopping markets, panhandling, and eventually selling acid strips. It all came to halt when Nicole got pregnant. Only then did she come to realize the true meaning of a mother’s love.
Is there a positive side to Never Let Me Go? Very definitely. Incredibly, the same teenage runaway that was Nicole Lowe is today a lawyer and the Utah Assistant Attorney General in the Child Protection Division. You will have to read the book to find out how this complete change in Nicole’s thinking, attitudes and career came about. To make this book even more relevant to the current world where there are so many teenage runaways, pregnancies, and suicides, not to mention drug abuse, Lowe opens with an ongoing court case where a young woman, much like the teen that Nicole once was, is in danger of losing both the child she has and the one growing inside her, thanks to her life on the streets, unemployment, and drug use. If anyone can understand how this young woman feels, Nicole does. She’s lived that life. Thanks to her own mother, Nicole was able to turn her life around and keep her child. Will this young woman in court be able to do the same? For some, Never Let Me Go will be a heartbreaking, even depressing read. For others, it is what Nicole Lowe intends: enlightening and hopeful. Above all, it is an important read. Don’t hesitate. This story might be about your daughter or granddaughter.