Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 11/2020
  • 9781951479299 B08F7CYSNY
  • 416 pages
  • $16.99
Surrender
Her young life changed in an instant. Now she shares her story with the child she gave away. Adopted at birth, Marylee’s parents told her she was a “chosen child.” She tried her hardest to make them proud. But her grandmother’s death and parents’ ugly divorce sent her into the comforting arms of a handsome Catholic boy. Although theirs was the love story of all time, she feared for her soul. Unfortunately, it was 1971. Pregnant girls were sent away and their babies surrendered for adoption. In telling her adult son the circumstances of his birth, can the narrator, an adoptee herself, find compassion for her own wounded inner child? If you like truthful accounts laced with the passion of youth and the wisdom of age, then you’ll love Marylee MacDonald’s poignant memoir of teenage love. For a chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal, buy Surrender today.
Reviews
MacDonald’s sprawling autobiography recounts her coming of age: falling in love, becoming pregnant as a Catholic teen in 1961, and giving up her son at age 16 after a stint in the Florence Crittenton Home for unwed mothers. The trauma of that experience is multiplied by complex emotions regarding her own adoption. The author dives deep into those feelings and a host of others—how it felt when her father exposed himself to her, meeting the son she put up for adoption, and her fear about returning to Phoenix, where the home operated. Throughout the narrative, she considers the long-term effects of trauma.

The author brings to life what it meant to be an adolescent 50 years ago, in an era of sexual repression when teenagers had difficulty buying contraceptives. As for pregnancy, many schools would not readmit girls known to have given birth, so a great deal of duplicity was involved in the whole process, including limiting weight gain so the mother could leave in the clothes she wore early in the pregnancy.

The author’s inner strength is obvious to readers, as is her intelligence. MacDonald aptly describes the “lava-like knot of humiliation, shame and rage” that accompanied her pregnancy as her boyfriend and eventual first husband went on with his life while hers was on hold in Phoenix. Readers will, through the eloquent prose, come to understand the rage and trauma inherent in growing up during such a restrictive, gender-biased time period in the U.S.

Takeaway: Readers looking for adoption stories who want to understand what life was like before birth control will appreciate this tale of coming-of-age trauma.

Great for fans of: Ann Fessler’s The Girls Who Went Away, Anne Petrie’s Gone to an Aunt’s, Ann Patchett’s The Patron Saint of Liars.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: C+

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 11/2020
  • 9781951479299 B08F7CYSNY
  • 416 pages
  • $16.99

Loading...