Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Library Loot ~ May 23-29

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade ~ by Ann Fessler, 2006, history
In this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade.  An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Ann Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than a hundred women, as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.
A discussion arose in one of my groups about "the value of girls."  I said, "I’m 72, and being a teenager in the 1950s was very different from now — or even from when you were a teen.  Any girl who got pregnant dropped out of school and seemed to disappear."  Martha replied, "If you haven’t read it, Bonnie, I recommend The Girls Who Went Away for a look at the societal framework that encouraged and supported that disappearing. It’s heart-wrenching."  My library had a copy, which I checked out this afternoon.  It's absorbing, and I'm already halfway through the book — even though I had intended to just "take a quick look at the contents."  Ha!

 Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire @ The Captive Reader and Marg @ The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share titles of books they’ve checked out of the library. To participate, just add your post to their Mister Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries this week.

5 comments:

Madgew said...

I know one friend with this exact story from high school. She went to visit an "aunt" when in fact she was right here in LA a few miles from her home. None of her friends knew or could see her until she came back to school.
Very sad.

Linda said...

Sounds interesting. Enjoy!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Such an interesting topic! I think younger women today forget that abortion wasn't always an option and that girls just "disappeared" (often to live with an aunt far away for 9 months).

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

This is such an interesting topic and I can easily understand how you found yourself so quickly absorbed in it. It is something that certainly played a role in my extended family: at least one female relative gave up a baby for adoption during the '60s while other relatives adopted numerous children, most of whom had young mothers who were unable to care for them alone.

maphead said...

Thanks for reviewing this book. Five or six years ago I saw a copy of this at the library and almost grabbed it but didn't. Then I soon forgot the name of it. I've been wanting to read it but could not remember the title. Thanks to you I can finally can Thanks!