Review: No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily

I read this in a day, devouring the chapters, which was easy to do as this was a fast paced book which moved across a multi-decade time period - from the 1960's to the early 2000's. Whilst I read it super quickly I wasn't sure if I liked it or if it came across as too cliched for me, but once I took a moment to think and reflect I realised that this was a great book and that those weren't cliches but important nuggets in the story.

Synopsis via Goodreads

Firstly, I do think that this book should come with a trigger warning as there are some topics covered that may not be suitable for some to read, even if there aren't described in a detailed way unlike in some other books - specifically the topics of sexual assault and suicide.

Having thought about it a little, I realised that Bewer Daily is showing us that, regardless of your walk of life, any woman could have found themselves in one of these homes for a multitude of reasons. Maybe they made the personal decision to go, maybe they were forced, but in the end they would all be changed irrevocably after they left.

What I felt Brewer Daily was also able to do was show the different families, lives and situations the adopted children could have, how the information of their adoption impacted their lives and the contrasts between the children that were at the centre of this story.

To me, it also showed that you did not need to be entirely defined by being a mother who gave her child up for adoption or by being the child that was adopted, but that this fact of your life does have some bearing on who you are and your life moving forward, either positively or negatively.

At times sad, this story was also hopeful and showed the bonds we can make during difficult and transformative moments in our lives. It also made me consider the age old question of nature over nurture too.

Fun fact; I read this book on August 22nd not realising the important significance of the date to this book so that was kind of fun!

A great debut novel.

Thank you to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for the copy.

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