Mama's Song, by Ben Beaton

At 4.00 a.m. she screamed.
A harsh piercing noise. I thought everything in the room would shatter.
At 4 a.m. she screamed because she wanted to live.
I cried.
At 4 a.m. I cried because I didn’t know if I wanted her to.

George (Georgina) is running away from her family, her friends and her mistakes. But one thing she cannot run from is the fact that she is about to become a mother. In a country hospital, away from everyone she knows, George gives birth to a baby girl. In the days that follow she must grow from being a troubled teen to being a mother to Hannah, her baby.

It isn’t an easy transition, but Hannah makes new friends in the hospital – including other first time mothers. There is Mary who, at 38, has relied on IVF to have her baby, and Nasreen, whose baby has come early – too early. George learns from and shares with these women, but she also learns from herself, as she reflects on the events which led her to this time and place, with a new perspective.

Mama’s Song is an amazing young adult novel – amazing for its intensity, and for its accurate portrayal of the turmoil new mothers (of any age) can face. However, teens do not need to be young mothers themselves to be able to relate to George’s story, being offered a wonderful insight into her life both previous to her pregnancy and now.

This debut novel for Perth author Ben Beaton hints at a stellar career to come.

Mama's Song

Mama’s Song, by Ben Beaton
black dog, 2009

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