But such a life-altering event can never be forgotten, and no secret remains buried forever. Twenty-five years later, the women are reunited by a blackmailer, who threatens to expose their secrets and destroy the lives they’ve built. That shattering revelation would shake their very foundations—and reverberate all the way to the White House.
Told from the three women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, this mesmerizing story is based on actual experiences of women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant but unmarried, pressured by family and society to make horrific decisions. How that inconceivable act changed women forever is the story of No Names to Be Given, a heartbreaking but uplifting novel of family and redemption.
PRAISE FOR NO NAMES TO BE GIVEN:
A gorgeous, thrilling, and important novel! These strong women will capture your heart. —Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas.
An insightful and sympathetic view offered into the lives of those who were adopted and those who adopted them. —Pam Johnson, author of Justice for Ella.
A novel worthy of a Lifetime movie adaptation. —Jess Hagemann, author of Headcheese.
Readers can expect deep knowledge of the world the characters inhabit. —Sara Kocek, author of Promise Me Something.
This book is a relevant read and one that will keep readers guessing page after page until the very end. —The US Review of Books
Today’s young women, especially, need to absorb No Names to Be Given. —Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
Excerpt, Part One
from No Names to Be Given
by Julia Brewer Daily
Most of all, Sandy knew she longed to hold her child. Becca still declared love for her baby’s father.
“I must go on a hunger strike. Do you want me to barricade myself in the nursery?” Becca made her announcements in a loud voice.
“Hush, Becca. You’re disturbing the entire Home.” A nurse leaned over her bed, speaking harshly.
Sandy saw perspiration beading under Becca’s eyes and watched as she swiped it away with her palm.
“Everything’s gonna be alright.” Sandy soothed the erratic behavior Becca exhibited. She feared Becca would spring from the bed and run toward the nursery.
Sandy pulled the opposite curtain and found Faith with her hands clasped as if in prayer.
“Faith, are you okay?” Sandy’s voice lowered. She always spoke to Faith as if she were a child. They were all the same age, but Faith’s innocence made her seem so much younger.
“I’m miserable over here,” Faith said.
“Me too. I feel like a medieval torture device stretched my limbs,” Sandy said.
Faith chanted prayers for her baby.
“Please, Lord. Please let my baby have the very best parents. I know you will take care of him—or her.” She hummed the lyrics of Jesus Loves the Little Children. “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.”
“How are we expected to walk away and pretend nothing happened?” Becca blurted out.
Sandy watched Faith twist her hands. Sandy’s memory of Faith telling about her assault was difficult enough to keep secret. Now, a living reminder of it existed. Faith said she did not want this baby to carry the blame for its conception. She appeared to experience a panic attack when she gulped breaths as if drinking water with a cupped hand from a bucket.
Sandy stood and helped Becca and Faith to the bathroom or shower. The next day, she and her roommates were back in room 310, recuperating from long labors and quick births. They bound their breasts to diminish their milk production and swapped out thick pads to contain blood’s constant flow from their wombs. The midwife brought heat lamps to place between their legs to help heal delicate body tissues from episiotomies.
Sandy peered over her bent knees. She thought the three of them looked like they were on a camping trip with their legs creating pup tents from draped sheets and glowing lights. Next, they sat in baths of scorching water and Epsom salts to soften the stitches. Each agreed she felt split into pieces, both physically and emotionally. I feel like a robot, Sandy thought. I’m going through the motions to survive each moment.
Starting 8/23/2021, click to continue reading this excerpt on That’s What She’s Reading.
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been a Communications Adjunct Professor at Belhaven University, Jackson, Mississippi, and Public Relations Director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson, MS. She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart. As the Executive Director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (300 artisans from 19 states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public. Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well. A lifelong southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband Emmerson and Labrador retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star.