" Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wine glass.
The question we ask over and over.
My life begins at the Y.
So begins the story of Shannon, a newborn baby dumped at the doors of the YMCA, swaddled in a dirty grey sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss army knife. She is found moments later by a man who catches a mere glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view. All three lives are forever changed by the single decision.
Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures neglect and abuse but then finds stability and love in the home of Miranda, a kind single mother who refuses to let anything ever go to waste. But as Shannnon grows, so do the questions inside her. Where is she from? Who is her true family? Why would they abandon her on the day she was born?
The answers lie in the heartbreaking tale of Yula, Shannon's mother, a girl herself and one with a desperate fate. Yula spends her days caring for her bitter widowed father until the day she meets Harrison, a man who will protect her but also a man with a dark past and stories yet to be revealed. Soon they are expecting a daughter but as Yula goes into labour, she and Harrison are caught in a tragic series of events that will destroy their family and test their limits of compassion and sacrifice.
Eventually the two stories converge to shape an unforgettable story of family, identity and inheritance. Written with rare beauty, wisdom, and intimacy. Y is a novel that asks the question "why?" even as it reveals that the answer isn't always clear and that it may not always matter.
Marjorie Celona received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and recipient of the Ailene Barger Barnes Prize. Her stories have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading,Glimmer Train, and Harvard Review. Born and raised on Vancouver Island, she lives in Cincinnati.
Marjorie Celona’s Y, is a longlist nominee for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Thoughts from OHM:
When I received the email from Penguin offering a copy of Y to review I didn't waste much time thinking about it! The quick synopsis of the book was just so haunting. I knew that I needed to read this book. I certainly wasn't disappointed either! Even at 356 pages, this book was a devoured-in-an-afternoon read for me. I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN, and I certainly didn't want to either. From the very beginning pages where Shannon is dropped off at the Y, to the very last pages where we learn 'why', this book grabs hold of you and doesn't let go. Marjorie has an amazing writing style that kept me captivated while she weaved the stories of Shannon's unbelievable life, with that of her mother Yula's heartbreaking tale.
Be sure to check out this amazing read, I have a feeling it's going to be quite the bestseller!
* Thankyou so much to Penguin Canada for the opportunity to read and review this amazing book! *
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