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August 23, 2021

No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"Today's women don't understand how our families made us feel shame so intensely, we surrendered our first born children to strangers."  (p 313)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

No Names to Be Given
August 2021; Admission Press; 978-0998426181
ebook, print (334 pages); historical fiction

In the 1960's it was taboo to have a child out of wedlock and girls were often sent to homes for unwed mothers early in their pregnancy so that it could remain a secret.  When they gave birth, the baby was taken away and given to a family for adoption.  The girls weren't told if their baby was a girl or a boy and they never got to hold them.  This sounds cruel by today's standards but girls who had babies out of wedlock were shunned by family and friends so it was always better for them and their families to keep it a secret. 

No Names to Be Given starts in 1964 and is about three very different girls who find themselves pregnant and unmarried.  They are strangers who become friends and roommates at Magnolia Home Hospital in New Orleans while they are waiting for their babies to be delivered.

Sandra ran away from her home in Illinois due to her treatment by her stepfather.  She managed to get a  job as an exotic dancer in New Orleans where she became the dancer that everyone wanted to see.  She fell in love with a married man and he refused to help her. Her main goal after her baby was born was to return to New Orleans and get back to her job at the club.

Becca lived in NC and attended UNC.  She was more liberal than her parents and most of society at that time.   When she became pregnant with a totally unacceptable person, her family sent her to New Orleans.  Her goal after she had her baby was to find the father of the baby and start their relationship again.

Faith lived in Tennessee, the well-to-do daughter of an evangelical traveling preacher and was a singer at his events.  She was a singer and songwriter who enjoyed her life...  Until a friend of her family raped her and she became pregnant.  She refused to tell her parents who the father of her baby was and they sent her to Magnolia hospital as soon as possible,  Her goal was to get back to her career after her baby was born.
Three very different girls became roommates and friends and even delivered their babies on the same day. With chapters told by alternating girls, we follow their lives until 2000 as they keep the secret of their babies...until someone starts to blackmail them and threatens to expose their secrets.   

This is a debut novel from Julia Daily who was adopted from a hospital in New Orleans.  She managed to create three well-written women and show how society put pressure on unmarried women.  I grew up in the 60s and can tell you that this book accurately presented the views towards women at this time.  This well-written story was unforgettable and I look forward to future books from this author.

Buy No Names to be Given at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting the tour + for your great review!

    HF Virtual Book Tours