Monday, February 18, 2013

Y by Marjorie Celona 

Publisher: Free Press 
Pages: 272 
Format: ebook 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  “Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The question we ask over and over. Why? . . . My life begins at the Y.” So opens Marjorie Celona’s highly acclaimed and exquisitely rendered debut about a wise-beyond-her-years foster child abandoned as a newborn on the doorstep of the local YMCA. Swaddled in a dirty gray sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss Army knife tucked between her feet, little Shannon is discovered by a man who catches only a glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view. That morning, all three lives are forever changed. Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures abuse and neglect until she finally finds stability with Miranda, a kind but no-nonsense single mother with a free-spirited daughter of her own. Yet Shannon defines life on her own terms, refusing to settle down, and never stops longing to uncover her roots—especially the stubborn question of why her mother would abandon her on the day she was born.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines going at the same time and at the most critical moment they will intersect and bring the story all together.  One centers around Shannon who is a young girl that has spent all of her young life bouncing from house to house in the foster care system as she is left on the steps of a YMCA as a newborn.  The other storyline is the story she is narrating about the days leading up to her birth that stars her mom and father and extended family.  

Shannon is shuttled from home to home, until she is placed with Miranda and finally finds a home that fits just right.  But there is still a part missing, a longing to know where she came from and what really happened.  At the same time, the story of the days leading up to her birth put it all into perspective as to why her mother abandoned her at the YMCA.  It was easy to fall in love with Shannon and want the best for her no matter what it looked like.  For a bit, I was definitely confused as to how she was narrating her story, but by the end of it all, I figured out how she came to know the story.  

I would definitely place this book into more of the literary fiction side of things with its large use of descriptions and artsy feel.  It was a little outside of my normal reads, but I enjoyed it.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Edelweiss.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


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