No Names to Be Given: A Novel
by Julia Brewer Daily
Admission Press

"Three women walked up the decaying steps of a brick building on Washington Avenue in New Orleans. Once inside the building, they wrapped their arms around each other. Their reunion was bitter sweet."

In this thought-provoking novel, readers enter the lives of three women tied together by one life-changing place, the Magnolia Home Hospital. Though their stories, backgrounds, and upbringings differ greatly in some cases, these three unwed women are pregnant during a time when unwed mothers have few options. As readers encounter a society that forces such women to return to their home lives as though nothing ever happened, they find themselves embroiled in a decades-long battle against the expectations of society. A web of forced secrecy threatens to unravel a Kennedy-esque political family on the American stage. Readers will also find themselves engaged in moral and social conversations that demand reform for one of the most conflicted, misunderstood, and controversial areas of American social and family life: adoption.

With its alternating perspectives that span across more than three decades, this book is a fast-paced read. Its narratives examine not only the moral and social obligations of adoption but also challenge Old South perspectives and aesthetics that still permeate Southern society today. The novel also opens a deep and needed conversation about the definition of family. It combines mystery and suspense with sweeping drama to create an emotionally intense read. Because of its focus on adoption, the book then challenges readers to analyze their own understanding of the adoption process, stigmas surrounding adoptees, and stigmas surrounding those who are forced or who choose to give their children up for adoption. This book is a relevant read and one that will keep readers guessing page after page until the very end.

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