“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 Y.”
So opens Marjorie Celona’s highly acclaimed and exquisitely
rendered 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, and it marks the debut of a magnificent
new voice in contemporary fiction. Download and start listening now!