Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Dear Nobody by Berlie Doherty

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2001, first published 1991  
Helen writes letters to her unborn baby – hence the “Dear Nobody” of the title.  The novel begins  on the day Chris is about to start university when he receives a parcel.  It contains all of the letters that 

Helen has written to the baby.  Chris reads through them and realises that their child has been born. He rushes to visit mother and child.   The story ends as Chris write s from his student room to his daughter Amy.

This is a story of an unplanned teen pregnancy.  We have little detail of how Chris and Helen become parents but there is a hint of a romantic scene and unplanned love-making.  We do get a few reality checks as Helen faces some of the physical realities about pregnancy. There is no happy ending.  We do not find out what happens to Helen and Amy after the birth. Chris decides he is not yet ready for fatherhood.

The story is told through the letters to the unborn baby and the flash backs they cause for Chris.  Thus the voice alternates between the two main characters.

It is a little dated: they use landlines and talk about cassette tapes. The chapters are quite long compared with a 21st century book.    

The book is 234 pages long, in blocked text and in an adult font.  

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