House Of Girls Joyce Shor Johnson




House Of Girls  by  Joyce Shor Johnson

House Of Girls by Joyce Shor Johnson
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House of Girls is a story about being fifteen, falling in love, and getting pregnant—all of which is a real problem if it is 1961, you are Jewish, your boyfriend isn’t, and you are determined to keep your baby and especially if your parents want you to “fix” the problem.It all starts when Jimmy—“ Irish”—roars into Sharon’s life late one humid summer afternoon in the Catskills.

He propels Sharon into the grown-up world of love, sex, lies, and scandal. For ultra-conservative Jewish women and children, spending summers in the Catskill Mountains is not just about escaping the heat of the Bronx. In the Catskills, they are freed from the restrictive confines of what it means to be “a good Jew” in the eyes of their tribe.Sharon’s parents relax their grip on her enough that she is able to spend her summer days learning about love with Irish.

The end of the summer means a return to the Bronx but not an end to Sharon and Irish’s relationship. When Sharon discovers her pregnancy, her parents have her remanded to a home for unwed Jewish girls, assuming she will give up the child.In the home for unwed mothers, Sharon struggles to find a place for herself. Along the way, she bonds with a few of the girls, each with her own story of pain and drama in a world where abortion is illegal and the stigma of being pregnant and unwed is harsh and humiliating.

Gradually, the shared stories and dreams help Sharon find the strength to stand against her parents, family court, and the adoption agency so she can give birth to her baby.At the end of 1961, life is still suspended in the ideals of the 1950s, but it is only a short leap into the turbulent 196os, where women fought for and won, independence for themselves, their children, and their right to love on their own terms.

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