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b-mother: A Novel    by Maureen O'Brien order for
by Maureen O'Brien
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

b-mother is the stirring account of one young woman's decision to give her child up for adoption. The year is 1980. Hillary Birdsong is a typical sixteen year-old, though the death of her older brother has left its mark on her and on the family.

After Hillary becomes pregnant by her boyfriend, she is faced with a gut-wrenching decision. Receiving no support from her boyfriend or her parents, she moves to a home for unwed mothers, and as soon as the baby is born, she gives him up for adoption. The whole experience causes a further rift in her already fragile relationship with her mother, who is still mourning Hillary's brother.

After personally selecting the adoptive parents, Hillary maintains an open relationship with them, looking forward to annual updates on her child. But the story doesn't end there for Hillary. In fact, giving up her child permeates every facet of her existence, affecting her future relationships and her desire to have additional children.

In this intriguing novel about the powerful bonds of motherhood, O'Brien takes the reader along on an emotional journey of loss, love, and hope.

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