The Third Floor - Judi Loren Grace

4 Stars
A 15 year old girl, raised in a rural farming community is sent to an inner city to live and hide in a Home for unwed mothers. Written in the voice of the fifteen year old from letters saved from her best friend since the summer of 1962. She tells of daily life inside the home, chores, military rules and lack of counsel. The girls, about 50 with a waiting list to enter live out their time and go up to the third floor to labor and deliver their babies, relinquish them and return to society and act as if nothing had happened and keep this secret for the rest of their lives. This summer was also her racial awakening and the beginning of a life long friend.

From central valley in California, Judi Loren Grace is a successful business woman currently in partnership with my daughter. Married, raised 3 children. Lost first child to adoption, second child died at age 21. Own a hair salon, Satori in a University town in Northern California. Previous L'Oreal educator. Semi retired and an author. 

This wasn't a real exciting or very sad or even shocking story to read. It was just a real, true account about what happened to teen girls in the 60's when they were sent away to have their illegitimate babies. It was all very hush hush back then.Well some of it is a little shocking if you were not aware of this happening. It was kinda sad too that girls back then did not really have much choice - either shot-gun wedding or be sent away to have the baby so no one knew and come back with a story that you went to visit relatives. 
I am not all for women (or girls) having babies out of wedlock but... at least they have choices now! At least they can have their babies in proper hospitals and even keep and raise their baby by themselves if they choose. And I don't want to go into the whole abortion debate, but at least now if they choose they can get a safe abortion and not have to do it in some ally and have a 50/50 chance of bleeding to death by coat-hanger! I know that there are still many black-market adoptions but there are many safe legal adoption services if they choose that road.
Back then, even though the home they stayed in was not The Hilton at least it was a safe place to go, they did have food and medical care and a warm place to sleep with clean sheets. Yes, they were hidden away like freaks but even back then we did take care of our girls.
I really liked this story! I loved the friendships that developed in the home. I also like Judi herself, a naive, young, pregnant teen. She had so much happen to her at such a young age, she grew up fast.
I loved the ending of this book. In the end Judi has a section that tells what happens to all the "players" in the story. At lot of times at the end you find out what happens to the main character but are left wondering about the others, Judi wraps this all up for us.
A bit of a warning - there are some graphic scenes and while I would recommend older teens reading this just be aware there may be questions.

Get this e-book FREE from A&N - HERE
and from Amazon - HERE


  1. Oh wow. This sounds genuinely good. I'm so glad your reviewed this. I almost passed on it.

  2. This does sound like a very interesting story, and reminds me of a book that I read not too long ago. It's true that the options for pregnant young girls were limited back then, so I would be interested in reading this one and discovering how everything works out for the characters. Excellent review today!

  3. Just finished this book. I think it brings to light a lot of women issues that young girls need to know about. I really enjoyed the story being told by a 14 year old Judi, I'm sure that was difficult when going through the writing process. In reading other comments it seems that this book has started an interesting dialog about this time period. I really hope this book picks up and makes it to all corners of the country. I have recommended it to all my girl friends, my sister, mom and cousins. I still can't get the chapter when Judi tells her dad out of my mind.