Pamela D. Pollack

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 197

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Suspense is meant to mount [in Mia Alone] as Mia Järeberg marks time awaiting results of her pregnancy test, but there's no need for nail biting since the scare is just that. Mia gets "the curse" (a surprising Victorianism for a modern-day story set in sexually free Sweden) and Beckman gets an easy way out of the not-so-simple issues raised: Mother had to get married before abortion on demand and where would Mia be if …; boyfriend Jan opposes the operation …; Mia's option to choose abortion means accepting responsibility for her own body; etc. Lacking any concrete action, the story becomes a bloodless marathon talk fest. Still, Beckman keeps a lid on moralizing and melodrama, and the absence of some of the genre's creakier conventions—one-shot pregnancies (here it's five times); Neanderthal parents (though in the throes of divorce, Mr. Järeberg is a model supportive father); bad-guy boyfriends (well-meaning Jan offers marriage)—makes this a mild improvement over run-of-the-abortion-mill tracts….

Pamela D. Pollack, in her review of "Mia Alone," in School Library Journal (reprinted from the January, 1975 issue of School Library Journal, published by R. R. Bowker Co./A Xerox Corporation; copyright © 1975), Vol. 21, No. 5, January, 1975, p. 52.


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