No Names to Be Given by Julia Daily
Publication Date: August 3, 2021
Admission Press, Inc
Genre: Historical Fiction
- 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, 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.
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No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily
Sandra always sauntered through her house, as though she were on a stage. Even as a young child, she pretended she was an actress or dancer.
“Sandra, quit sashaying around this house,” her mother would say. “And wipe that lipstick off your mouth.”
“Leave her alone, Mama. She’s learning to be a girl.” Her daddy always took her side. When he died, her world tumbled end over end, as his tractor did when it tipped over the bluff on a tenant farm in Illinois.
Her father was in the rocky grave only a few days before Glen approached her mother, Peggy. Glen smoothly talked Peggy into letting him move into their house. He told her not to worry about paying the bills they owed or buying groceries. He would take care of them.
Soon after Glen moved into their house, Sandra stood on the porch’s edge and watched as he dragged a kitten from under the porch. A stray cat gave birth to three babies under the steps and died before she could nurse them. Two of the kittens had already perished. The remaining one twisted in Glen’s enormous hands.
“What’re you going to do with that kitten, Glen?” Sandra knew that most stray cats ended up in burlap sacks in the creek.
“I need you to keep him alive, Sandra. He can live in the barn when he’s strong enough.” Glen whispered to the form in his grasp.
“You’re a fighter. You can do this,”
Sandra had not seen this gentle side of Glen. Are you trying to get on my good side? She stumbled forward and swept the tiny gray creature from him. The pitiful mewing of the little thing encouraged her. In the kitchen, she poured milk into a dish and dipped a cloth to dampen it. Holding it to the cat’s mouth, she grinned as it sucked on the fabric.
“I’ll get an eyedropper to make it easier,” Glen said.
Sandra nodded. What’s come over you? Never thought you had a nice bone in your body.
Glen slept with her mother, but his eyes always watched Sandra. She reached for a cornmeal bag on the shelf, and he watched her shirt hike up from her shorts. He sat in the swing on the porch and waited for her to arrive home from school. Sandy tried to stay out of his way.
Yards of blue cotton cloth divided their house, hanging from ropes to separate the kitchen from corners where cotton mattresses lay on the floor. Sandra slept with her mother until Glen arrived. Then, she dragged a striped mattress near the back door. Sandra always hoped to avoid Glen. He made the hair on her arms stand on end.
Every day Sandra dressed for high school and tried to look nice, but Glen was less than complimentary. One morning in her junior year of high school, Sandra passed him on the porch.
“You’re not wearing that blouse. You look like a tramp. That’s all boys need is to see you like that,” Glen growled. He snatched at her arm and tore the sleeve. Red fiery anger blossomed inside her, as red as the blouse itself. Fuming, she’d run back into the house to change.
Sandra knew her mother afforded no time for her. Peggy spent her hours cooking meals and washing clothes for the man who shared their house. Their machine was one of the old crank types on the back screened porch. Her mother caught her hand in the rollers as she pressed clothes through the device and often smashed fingers or broke her nails.
“Ohhhh. Get me a cloth, Sandra.” Her mother’s cry and rusty metal grinding to a halt signaled another accident.
Sandra grabbed a flour sack towel from the sink and ran to the back porch. Her mother was seated on the floor, holding her hand and moaning.
“Here, Mama. Let me wrap your hand.” Sandra’s stomach curdled like buttermilk. Peggy’s index and middle fingers looked like ground beef.
“We’re going to take you to the hospital.”
“Poor people don’t go to the hospital.”
“A gorgeous, thrilling, and important novel! These strong women will capture your heart.”-Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas
“A novel worthy of a Lifetime movie adaptation.” Jess Hagemann, author of Headcheese
“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
“Readers can expect deep knowledge of the world the characters inhabit.”-Sara Kocek, author of Promise Me Something
“I found myself thinking about Becca, Sandy, and Faith frequently as I went about my day-I was always excited to sit down and find out what happened next.”-Sarah Welch, author of Austin Brown Dogs: The Shelter Dogs Who Rescue Us
About the Author
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She has a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi.
She has been an educator, Communications Adjunct Professor at Belhaven College, administrator, 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. She 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. She lives on a ranch in Texas with her husband Emmerson and two Labrador Retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.
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Tuesday, August 3
Review at Books, Writings, and More
Wednesday, August 4
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Thursday, August 5
Excerpt at Books, Ramblings, and Tea
Friday, August 6
Review at Amanda in PA
Monday, August 9
Interview at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 10
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
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Review at The Enchanted Shelf
Friday, August 13
Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes
Monday, August 16
Review at Reading is My Remedy
Tuesday, August 17
Excerpt at Coffee and Ink
Wednesday, August 18
Review at Two Bookish Babes
Friday, August 20
Review at The Cozy Book Blog
Monday, August 23
Review at Girl Who Reads
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Thank you so much for hosting No Names to Be Given today!
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