Book - 2012
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Debut about a wise-beyond-her-years foster child abandoned as a newborn on the doorstep of the local YMCA. Swaddled in a dirty gray sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss Army knife tucked between her feet, little Shannon is discovered by a man who catches only a glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view. That morning, all three lives are forever changed. Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures abuse and neglect until she finally finds stability with Miranda, a kind but no-nonsense single mother with a free-spirited daughter of her own. Yet Shannon defines life on her own terms, refusing to settle down, and never stops longing to uncover her roots - especially the stubborn question of why her mother would abandon her on the day she was born. Brilliantly and hauntingly interwoven with Shannon's story is the tale of her mother, Yula, a girl herself who is facing a desperate fate in the hours and days leading up to Shannon's birth. As past and present converge, Y tells an unforgettable story of identity, inheritance, and, ultimately, forgiveness. Celona's ravishingly beautiful novel offers a deeply affecting look at the choices we make and what it means to be a family.
Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton, c2012
ISBN: 9780670066377
Characteristics: 350 p. ; 24 cm

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Oct 05, 2014

The titular Y can relate to at least three elements in the novel. The obvious... short for YWCA, where the baby Shannon was left by her mother shortly after birth. Then, Y is the initial of the mysterious mother Yula, for whom Shannon so desperately searches. And phonetically, WHY?, is the all-encompassing question for Shannon - what happened that made her mother give her up? The story bounces between the lives of Shannon and her mother in an attempt to answer this question. And as Shannon searches we see how she grows into her potential. A hopeful tale of lives lived in places we never hope to find ourselves or the people we love.

Nov 05, 2013

Shannon has a lot of whys in her life, but all the whys are what she wants to know. Left infront of the Y(MCA), she has a unique beginning and she finds family in people who are not related to her, but she is thankful for them regardless what is going on with her. Follow Shannon's mother/father's story, as well, as you get to know Shannon with all her faults and quirks as she gets to know herself along the journey.

sundaysunday123 Mar 19, 2013

Easy, fast read --- references throughout to places and various recognizable locations around Victoria make this book thoroughly enjoyable. Not often you get a book that is "so close to home."

Dec 27, 2012

A very engaging read.

LaughingOne Dec 06, 2012

This book is actually two stories, one of the birth family of this baby girl and how she came to be abandoned, the other the story of the girl over a period of 16-17 years. Both stories are told by the girl, from her perspective. What was especially interesting to me was seeing/living the girl's life from inside her. We don't normally get to see what another person is thinking, especially in situations like this. All of the characters are flawed; however, it is obvious that most of them are doing the best they can in an imperfect world. Thought-provoking and hopeful are words I would use to describe this novel, despite the unbearable things that happen in it.

Nov 19, 2012

Anh excellent first book. Despite the fact that Shannon was an abandoned child always looking for her real identity, it reflects how many people live in the same way. And, finally, looking back, realize that their life was good.

rowanquincy Nov 06, 2012

Doesn't live up to the hype. Suspect it is so popular due the the many Victoria mentions.

debwalker Oct 12, 2012

Stunning debut novel on the Giller long list.

Oct 04, 2012

Loved this book for the fact that it made me feel both deeply upset and also giggle aloud. What constitutes a family; is it blood or is it something much, much larger? This is a story burning with truth that is so often untold. Fiction with thought.

Sep 17, 2012

This story is written in alternating chapters of Shannon's story and her birth mother's story. It takes place on Vancouver Island and is full of references to island life. I enjoyed the Canadian setting. The story is very dark and depressing in many places but it draws you through to the end with the hope of a happier conclusion..

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