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Y Y That perfect letter The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass The question we ask over and over Why My life begins at the YSo begins the story of Shannon, a newborn baby dumped at the doors of the YMCA, swaddled in a dirty gray sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss Army knife She is found moments later by a man who catches only a glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view All three lives are forever changed by the single decisionBounced between foster homes, Shannon endures abuse and neglect 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 Shannon 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 and her spirited toddler Eugene 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 sacrificeEventually 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 why even as it reveals that the answer isn t always clear and that it may not always matter


10 thoughts on “Y

  1. says:

    I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.I don t think I have ever been so sad to see a book end It caught me by surprise and I must have stared at the last page for 5 minutes before I finally closed the book It was like saying goodbye to a friend that you don t want to lose I grew so attached to the main character that I almost cried.One of my favourite things about this book is the way it was written The narrative is beautiful and 150% suit


  2. says:

    It seems ironic that the day I choose to read Y is the day this quote comes up on my twitter feed When writing a novel a writer should create living people people not characters A character is a caricature How right Ernest Hemingway was indeed My galley copy of Y seems to breathe on it s own Its pages are filled with characters, but two or three are so vivid that they aren t caricatures but real people.On my first day working for Penguin Canada, there w


  3. says:

    A baby is abandoned at the Y Why Why do people choose the forks in the path that they do People are so often incapable of recognising choices They lack a perceptual awareness of their own abilities to influence their own course through their life The novel follows the story of the abandoned baby and her childhood, and intersperses it with the story of her biological parents The paths of the characters are littered with misery and bad choices The bleaknes


  4. says:

    This novel is gorgeously written It is told from the point of view of Shannon who, as an infant, is abandoned by her birth mother on the steps of a YMCA But the narrative also explores the incidents leading up to this moment It s a heart breaking, aching sort of story in so many ways, but it also forces the reader to examine what makes a family and what defines home The final passages of the novel just about blew me away with their cruelty, honesty, and b


  5. says:

    The past year, 2012, has been a period of achievement and excellence for Canadian fiction, with particularly strong contributions from women authors such as Nancy Richler The Imposter Bride, Alix Ohlin Inside and Linda Spalding The Purchase There have also been positive comments in the media about the work of Marjorie Celona, a West Coast writer whose novel Y was published during the year.For this reason, I read this novel with high expectations.Its basic


  6. says:

    The book starts with Shannon describing how she was abandoned as a newborn on the steps of the YMCA just before it hoped at 5AM Shannon is the narrator She tells us her story and that of her parents that led to her being abandoned Neither story is bright and sunny but ultimately Shannon s life is better for her mother s decision Shannon has three foster families before she is five and moves in with Miranda and her daughter Lydia Rose She is very lucky to en


  7. says:

    Truth be told, I wrote this book off as something that was slightly out of my intellectual reach Even if the story sounded simple enough, I m shamed to say that I didn t get it.I had a completely different opinion after I read it the first time I was unable to get over myself See, I get so comfortable with my reading choices that when a book this jarring comes my way, I freeze I don t know what to do with myself I ve been so stubbornly set on how a character


  8. says:

    For the first sixteen years of her life, Shannon never knew her parents Left by her mother on the steps of a YMCA just hours after her birth, the young girl s abandonment is witnessed by only one man Her destiny remained bleak and uncertain as she was shuffled through foster homes, her name altered and her childhood a blur Y is the captivating story of Shannon s plight to come to terms with the hand she s been dealt It s a remarkable narrative on life and the


  9. says:

    My life begins at the Y, is the first sentence of this brilliant story of a foundling who struggles to make her way in a world not always so friendly or kind Not only did I love the travails and triumphs of this character, but I was also captivated by the writing I can wholeheartedly give this book a solid five star rating because it just has so much going for it It s a quirky story, with some very odd characters, some likable, some not, and a plot that just w


  10. says:

    I found this to be a quiet book, not a lot of high drama, even when the events could have been told that way, like when her foster father beat her The book itself takes on the emotional style of the child mostly quiet and watchful, waiting to see whether the developing circumstances turn out to be good or bad When she allows herself a moment of breaking out of that passivity, it turns out to be unpleasant enough to send her back to her default mode The part of


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