About the book, No Names to Be Given
- Categories: Women’s Fiction / Vintage Fiction / Adoption / 1960s
- Publisher: Admission Press Inc.
- Pub Date: August 3, 2021
- Pages: 334 pages
- Scroll for the Giveaway
1965. Sandy runs away from home to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Becca falls in love with the wrong man. And Faith suffers a devastating attack. With no support and no other options, these three young, unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans where they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired.
But such a life-altering event can never be forgotten, and no secret remains buried forever. Twenty-five years later, the women are reunited by a blackmailer, who threatens to expose their secrets and destroy the lives they’ve built. That shattering revelation would shake their very foundations—and reverberate all the way to the White House.
Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, this mesmerizing story is based on actual experiences of women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant but unmarried, pressured by family and society to make horrific decisions. How that inconceivable act changed women forever is the story of No Names to Be Given, a heartbreaking but uplifting novel of family and redemption.
Praise for this book:
A gorgeous, thrilling, and important novel! These strong women will capture your heart. —Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas.
An insightful and sympathetic view offered into the lives of those who were adopted and those who adopted them. —Pam Johnson, author of Justice for Ella.
A novel worthy of a Lifetime movie adaptation. —Jess Hagemann, author of Headcheese.
Readers can expect deep knowledge of the world the characters inhabit. —Sara Kocek, author of Promise Me Something.
This book is a relevant read and one that will keep readers guessing page after page until the very end. —The US Review of Books
Today’s young women, especially, need to absorb No Names to Be Given. —Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
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About the author, Julia Brewer Daily
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been a Communications Adjunct Professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, MS. She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart. As the Executive Director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (300 artisans from 19 states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public. Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well. A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.
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No Names to Be Given is a beautiful, haunting novel about three very different women who find themselves in the same maternity home in New Orleans in the mid-1960s. Sandy, Faith, and Becca couldn’t be more different – one is escaping an abusive home, one suffers a horrible attack, and one falls in love with someone that society says she shouldn’t, but all find themselves alone and pregnant at a time when women were pressured to make horrible sacrifices in order to maintain the expectations of American culture in a time that is both bordering on free, and still holding onto the even deeper social structures of earlier times.
Julia Brewer Daily chose to write this book so that the point of view alternates between these women a chapter at a time, and in doing so, she first lets readers learn who they are and where they come from. In another author’s hands the story might have ended when they met, but Daily’s tale is far from over at that point. Rather, we get to see the devastation each experiences, and then we get to jump into the future and meet the older versions of the the women’s babies, and see how they grew up, and how (or if) they reconnect with their birth mothers.
Daily does a great job of setting the time period. Her scenes in the 60s are full of the social issues of the day, including racism and the civil rights movement, and as she moves into later times, she enhances her storytelling by mentioning then-newly-developed DNA testing as a means of connecting mothers and the children they were forced to part with.
Issues of adoption and single motherhood run through the entire novel, of course. As the daughter of a single mother, who nearly faced the same ultimatum, but ultimately chose to keep me, it’s a story that really resonated with me. It was obviously a very personal story for the author, as well, for she was adopted from a maternity home.
It’s this personal connection that makes this story sing. Each of the women is compelling and interesting. It’s easy to like them, to be concerned when they make poor choices, and to root for them when they find success in any aspect of life. While the stigma of unwed motherhood has lessened somewhat today, echoes of it do remain, and this book made it clear how it felt to be in that position.
Well-written and well-paced, I feel this novel is more than entertaining. It’s a gripping story that is as much social commentary as compelling fiction. It is intensely female, but deals with universal subjects. I would recommend this to anyone interested in the culture of America in the 1960’s, as a counterpoint to all the stories about free love and wild adventures (not to invalidate those stories), and make it required reading for anyone in a women’s studies program.
Goes well with: a shrimp po’boy and sweet tea.
$100 Amazon gift card.
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|8/17/21||Book Trailer||Chapter Break Book Blog|
|8/17/21||Review||It’s Not All Gravy|
|8/18/21||BONUS Promo||LSBBT Blog|
|8/19/21||Notable Quotable||Hall Ways Blog|
|8/20/21||Author Interview||All the Ups and Downs|
|8/22/21||Excerpt||The Page Unbound|
|8/23/21||Excerpt||That’s What She’s Reading|
|8/23/21||Review||The Clueless Gent|
|8/24/21||Guest Post||Forgotten Winds|
|8/24/21||Review||KayBee’s Book Shelf|
|8/26/21||Review||Rainy Days with Amanda|
|8/26/21||Review||Reading by Moonlight|
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