Book: The Third Floor
Author: Judi Loren Grace
Review: It's 1962. A young girl from a small town in California is sent to live in a home for unwed mothers. Told in part through letters to a friend back home, she describes daily life at the home and how each girl eventually goes to the third floor to give birth, give up their babies and return to their previous life like nothing ever happened.
I didn't realize this was non-fiction when I decided to read this. After discovering it was, it made the story that much more powerful. I was shocked at how naive 15 year old Judi was, the complete lack of sex education (she didn't even know she had sex) and the way she was treated by her doctor when they discovered she was pregnant (rude and condescending). The girls in the home were constantly told how "bad" they were and none of them even know what the birthing process entailed (they didn't know "how" the baby came out). I was literally shocked that Judi's mother and older sister made the decision to either keep the baby and name the child (and Judi went with whatever they wanted). I was truly heartbroken for Judi reading what happened to her mother and her father's ultimate betrayal.
This was a slow, albeit boring read at times, but I really enjoyed this novel.