Marjorie Celona. Free Press, $24.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-4516-7438-5
Sixteen-year-old Shannon isn’t sure if she’s a drifter by choice or by necessity; her earliest years were characterized first by her abandonment on the doorstep of the YMCA on Vancouver Island and, as she grew, by a series of foster homes, some truly horrific, others merely neglectful. Even after she’s taken in at the age of five by Miranda, a single mom who raises Shannon affectionately alongside her own child, Shannon still longs to belong. Unsettled and propelled by feelings of otherness, she investigates her origins, risking the new, stable connections she’s made. Shannon’s first-person narration—which begins at the moment of her abandonment, intentionally challenging the artifice of narration—alternates with chapters focusing on her birth mother, Yula, and on what led Yula to abandon her baby. Shannon’s awkwardness and emotional vulnerability make her an easy character to care for, but her physical oddities and sexual experimentation read as transparent attempts at generating conflict. While Shannon’s story might offer hope for anyone involved in a nontraditional family, Yula’s story is more compelling. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME Entertainment. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/22/2012
Release date: 01/08/2013
Hardcover - 457 pages - 978-1-4104-5818-6
Paperback - 259 pages - 978-1-4516-7440-8
Hardcover - 368 pages - 978-0-670-06637-7
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-571-28341-5
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4516-7442-2
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