Sunday, March 31, 2013

How Marjorie Celona's Debut Novel Made Me Cr(Y)

Marjorie Celona's debut novel, Y, centers around the life of Shannon, a foster child who is abandoned as a newborn by her mother on the steps of the YMCA.  We follow Shannon's life from home to home, until she comes to life with single-mother Miranda and her daughter Lydia-Rose, who try their hardest to create a new sense of family for Shannon, who never feels like she truly belongs.  Interspersed with scenes of her foster family are scenes of Shannon's birth mother Yula and father Harrison, in the days when they first meet as well as the days leading up to Shannon's birth.  The novel moves quickly, with punch and unflinching detail, but even two-thirds of the way in, while I liked the writing I had not yet really been moved by any of the characters.  Yet,  I found myself with tears in my eyes in the final parts of the novel, when Shannon comes face to face with her past.   It is very rare that a book brings me to tears, and for that quality alone, I recommend Y. 

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