Tag Archives: 1960s

Review & Giveaway: No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily

NO NAMES TO BE GIVEN
By
JULIA BREWER DAILY

Categories: Women’s Fiction / Vintage Fiction / Adoption / 1960s
Publisher: Admission Press Inc.
Pub Date: August 3, 2021
Pages: 334 pages
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1965. Sandy runs away from home to escape her mother’s abusive boyfriend. Becca falls in love with the wrong man. And Faith suffers a devastating attack. With no support and no other options, these three young, unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans where they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired.

But such a life-altering event can never be forgotten, and no secret remains buried forever. Twenty-five years later, the women are reunited by a blackmailer, who threatens to expose their secrets and destroy the lives they’ve built. That shattering revelation would shake their very foundations—and reverberate all the way to the White House.

Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, this mesmerizing story is based on actual experiences of women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant but unmarried, pressured by family and society to make horrific decisions. How that inconceivable act changed women forever is the story of No Names to Be Given, a heartbreaking but uplifting novel of family and redemption.

PRAISE FOR NO NAMES TO BE GIVEN:

A gorgeous, thrilling, and important novel! These strong women will capture your heart. Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas.

An insightful and sympathetic view offered into the lives of those who were adopted and those who adopted them. Pam Johnson, author of Justice for Ella.

A novel worthy of a Lifetime movie adaptation. Jess Hagemann, author of Headcheese.

Readers can expect deep knowledge of the world the characters inhabit. Sara Kocek, author of Promise Me Something.

This book is a relevant read and one that will keep readers guessing page after page until the very end. The US Review of Books

Today’s young women, especially, need to absorb No Names to Be Given. Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

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Review
No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily is a fascinating story filled with every human emotion, especially fear, desire, distress, and confusion. Daily pulls you in from the first chapter as we meet the three young girls on the day that they each give birth to unplanned babies. For 1965, you couldn’t meet a threesome as different as Sandy, Becca, and Faith. I really admire the lengths that the author goes to, gently pulling each girl’s story like taffy, making us feel like we know each girl intimately and the people that either influence or directly control the path that they have taken. Rich or poor, sweet or abrasive, you cannot help but empathize with the three and you are anxious to see how not only their lives turn out, but those of their children as well.

In school, we learned about the social issues that took place during the 1960s. Daily has clearly done her research to portray a time period where women don’t have control over what happens to their own bodies and African Americans are still discriminated against. Sadly, 60 years later, we are still at war with these social injustices. I don’t know if that sad fact is part of the reason that Daily wrote this novel, but the message of caution, the call to action, and the hope for change are very timely and needed in our country today.

As someone who has grown up in the South, in a traditional Filipino family, and raised as a strict Baptist, I could relate to the shame of not fulfilling certain expectations and the pressure to live a certain life. As I take my own destiny in my hands, it has been truly inspiring to hear how these three girls rose above their circumstances and forged lives that no one else could have predicted they would be capable of creating. You might scoff and say that this is a work of fiction, so how can I be inspired? This book is loosely based on true stories that Daily found during her research. And in my experience, even the most fantastical tale can be found in the real world if you dig deep enough.

I think that many readers will enjoy this well-crafted story, but I think it will especially speak to those who are adopted, who plan to adopt, or are debating whether to put a child up for adoption. And if you don’t fall in any of those categories, I think you will find value in the story of perseverance, friendship, and self-love.


Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been a Communications Adjunct Professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, MS. She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart. As the Executive Director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (300 artisans from 19 states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public. Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well. A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.

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Review: East Jesus by Chris Manno

EAST JESUS
by
Chris Manno
Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Date of Publication: March 8, 2016
Number of Pages: 314
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In the summer of 1969, a small town in west Texas prepares to send one of their finest young men off to fight a faraway, controversial war. A parallel battle of domestic violence erupts at home as a younger generation struggles to reconcile older notions of right and wrong and even fractured family ties with the inevitable price that the fighting demands. 

Much like today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Vietnam war is little understood by those left behind, but the lessons of strength, commitment and duty are timeless, then and now. East Jesus, the story of that national struggle today as well as back in 1969, is a plangent, soulful journey lived through the eyes of a wide-ranging, colorful array of characters, with a conclusion readers will never forget.

 
There’s more.  “East Jesus,” said one editor, “is a message of hope for our children.” Too often, teenagers who’ve survived a young lifetime of domestic violence believe “this is the hell I was born into, this is the hell I must accept for life.” East Jesus turns that notion on its ear: though there’s a price to pay, there’s a better way that rises above the violence.
The novel is peopled by strong characters, particularly women, in a salt-of-the-earth, small town, west Texas community. The price of a far away, unpopular war always comes due in small town America, then (set in 1969) as well as now (Iraq and Afghanistan). But the lesson of hope, sacrifice and redemption is timeless.
To read East Jesus is to live that story, to transcend the fighting at home and abroad, and to embrace the hope and faith in what’s right above all else.

Experience East Jesus, live the story–you’ll never forget it.

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Review
Now I know that this book isn’t YA, but I have to say that Manno has the teen speak and tone down to the point that I was not expecting the man in his picture (see below) as the author. Sorry if that’s ageist, but I mean it as a compliment. As someone who loves reading YA because I never outgrew the teen angst and obsession with anything Apocalyptic, I don’t think that I could maintain a tone as authentic as Manno. But I’ve digressed.
While I had trouble keeping all the characters straight in the beginning (there are lots of people… and dogs… with strange names), I think I finally got a hang of things about a quarter of the way through. And while I didn’t particularly care for some characters (Travis lost the parent lottery), I found them all interesting and realistic.
So many books have domestic abuse in them and I’ve found that most have some sort of an explanation (not justifying it, but there’s usually some stupid reason) for why it occurs. The reason unfolds at the end of this book. But I was so wrapped up in whatever moment was happening that I didn’t sit and ponder about it.
I’ve lived my whole life in Texas, most of it bordering a sleepy ol’ Western-ish town, but I still feel like I’m reading about foreign places when I read novels like this one. I guess that’s an attribute to just how vast and varied our great state is. I don’t think the fact that it’s set on the cusp of the 70’s is the issue either. There’s just something very different about a town where there’s literally only a handful of places to spend a Friday night. And yes, football does make an appearance.
My takeaway from this book is you don’t get to pick who your family is, but you can pick the people around you who can be your new family. And you might not succeed in protecting each other, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on building a new, good life. Manno doesn’t paint a pretty picture of this town and time period, but I found this book refreshing all the same.

Chris Manno matriculated from Springfield, Virginia and graduated from VMI in 1977 with a degree in English. He was commissioned in the Air Force and after completing flight training, spent seven years as a squadron pilot in the Pacific at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He was hired by American Airlines as a pilot in 1985 and was promoted to captain in 1991. He flies today as a Boeing 737 captain on routes all over North America and the Caribbean. He earned a doctorate in residence at Texas Christian University and currently teaches writing at Texas Wesleyan University in addition to flying a full schedule at American Airlines. He lives in Fort Worth.
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5 WINNERS!
Each winner gets an author signed copy of East Jesus PLUS 
a free download of Chris’s cartoon book #RudeLateNightCartoons 

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  May 10 – May 19, 2016
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:


5/10   Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post #1

5/11   Missus Gonzo  – Review
5/12   Country Girl Bookaholic  – Promo
5/13   Forgotten Winds  — Review
5/14   StoreyBook Reviews     – Excerpt      
5/15   A Novel Reality            – Author Interview #1     
5/16   Book Chase      – Review      
5/17   All for the Love of the Word     – Guest Post #2     
5/18   My Book Fix Blog – Author Interview #2                                      
5/19   Hall Ways BlogReview

 

 
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