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The Myth of Surrender

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What if the most important decision of your life was not yours to make? This vivid and powerful novel follows two women whose paths intersect at a maternity home in the "Baby Scoop Era." In 1960, free-spirited Doreen is a recent high-school grad and waitress in a Chicago diner. She doesn't know Margie, sixteen and bookish, who lives a sheltered suburban life, but they soon What if the most important decision of your life was not yours to make? This vivid and powerful novel follows two women whose paths intersect at a maternity home in the "Baby Scoop Era." In 1960, free-spirited Doreen is a recent high-school grad and waitress in a Chicago diner. She doesn't know Margie, sixteen and bookish, who lives a sheltered suburban life, but they soon meet when unplanned pregnancies send them to the Holy Family Home for the Wayward in rural Illinois. Assigned as roommates because their due dates line up, Margie and Doreen navigate Holy Family’s culture of secrecy and shame and become fast friends as the weight of their coming decision — to keep or surrender their babies — becomes clear. Except, they soon realize, the decision has already been made for them. Holy Family, like many of the maternity homes where 1.5 million women “relinquished” their babies in what is now known as the Baby Scoop Era, is not interested in what the birth mothers want. In its zeal to make the babies “legitimate” in closed adoptions, Holy Family manipulates and bullies birth mothers, often coercing them to sign away their parental rights while still under the effects of anesthesia. What happens next, as their babies are born and they leave Holy Family behind, will force each woman to confront the depths and limits of motherhood and friendship, and fight to reclaim control over their own lives. Written by the acclaimed author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and Undiscovered Country, The Myth of Surrender explores a hidden chapter of American history that still reverberates across the lives of millions of women and their children.


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What if the most important decision of your life was not yours to make? This vivid and powerful novel follows two women whose paths intersect at a maternity home in the "Baby Scoop Era." In 1960, free-spirited Doreen is a recent high-school grad and waitress in a Chicago diner. She doesn't know Margie, sixteen and bookish, who lives a sheltered suburban life, but they soon What if the most important decision of your life was not yours to make? This vivid and powerful novel follows two women whose paths intersect at a maternity home in the "Baby Scoop Era." In 1960, free-spirited Doreen is a recent high-school grad and waitress in a Chicago diner. She doesn't know Margie, sixteen and bookish, who lives a sheltered suburban life, but they soon meet when unplanned pregnancies send them to the Holy Family Home for the Wayward in rural Illinois. Assigned as roommates because their due dates line up, Margie and Doreen navigate Holy Family’s culture of secrecy and shame and become fast friends as the weight of their coming decision — to keep or surrender their babies — becomes clear. Except, they soon realize, the decision has already been made for them. Holy Family, like many of the maternity homes where 1.5 million women “relinquished” their babies in what is now known as the Baby Scoop Era, is not interested in what the birth mothers want. In its zeal to make the babies “legitimate” in closed adoptions, Holy Family manipulates and bullies birth mothers, often coercing them to sign away their parental rights while still under the effects of anesthesia. What happens next, as their babies are born and they leave Holy Family behind, will force each woman to confront the depths and limits of motherhood and friendship, and fight to reclaim control over their own lives. Written by the acclaimed author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott and Undiscovered Country, The Myth of Surrender explores a hidden chapter of American history that still reverberates across the lives of millions of women and their children.

30 review for The Myth of Surrender

  1. 5 out of 5

    sarah

    4.25 booksta review https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb3U1fhrF... wow wow. first off thank you to net galley for the ARC. the book is now out so please get your hands on it!! to anyone who is a fan of celeste ng or brit bennett, i definitely recommend reading this there are many ways to tell a story about pregnancy and women's agency, but there are also many ways to fall into a same, repetitive mold. mcnees takes on the baby scoop era and gracefully avoids telling us a story we have already heard a mill 4.25 booksta review https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb3U1fhrF... wow wow. first off thank you to net galley for the ARC. the book is now out so please get your hands on it!! to anyone who is a fan of celeste ng or brit bennett, i definitely recommend reading this there are many ways to tell a story about pregnancy and women's agency, but there are also many ways to fall into a same, repetitive mold. mcnees takes on the baby scoop era and gracefully avoids telling us a story we have already heard a million times. she touches on topics of racism, sexual assault, and most importantly, the aftermath of motherhood whether that baby is in your arms or not. the writing was really good. the two main characters were fleshed out and i loved seeing their development. i really liked the ending and how the storylines were shown in parallel. and there is a relationship that forms around the halfway mark that truly has my whole heart. my only reasons for not giving this a full 5 are some of the side characters that were slightly flat and were only there to aid the plot (which i totally get, but i would've loved for them to be a little fuller) and the n-word was used once in the beginning. i get that this is historical fiction, but i didn't think it was necessary (it was especially discomforting having a white person narrating the audiobook and saying it).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mere

    "What would be the point of singing a song that doesn't come from your own life?" p.6 Eloquent and heartfelt. This novel by Kelly O'Connor McNees provokes thought and discussion about what it means to be a productive woman of society vs. having a child out of wedlock and what it truly entails. I found myself shaking my head at times while I was reading based on the opinions expressed by some of the characters in her novel but what would a good book be without a juxtaposed position -- Being adopted "What would be the point of singing a song that doesn't come from your own life?" p.6 Eloquent and heartfelt. This novel by Kelly O'Connor McNees provokes thought and discussion about what it means to be a productive woman of society vs. having a child out of wedlock and what it truly entails. I found myself shaking my head at times while I was reading based on the opinions expressed by some of the characters in her novel but what would a good book be without a juxtaposed position -- Being adopted myself, I often asked myself what women would go thru back in the era that I was born into COUGH ➡️(70's) Although our author gives us a date of 1945-1973 of these maternity houses being active, I know for a fact in Michigan, many unwed mothers who were giving up children for adoption were still in these houses beyond that time frame. And although I haven't had much sympathy for my birth mother for other reasons I will not get into here, I can certainly be grateful to the "Uber to earth" for delivering me to the family I was meant to be with on a soul level. Have you ever felt something was meant to be on a soul level, beyond explanation or reason? Pick up this book to get a taste of that and you won't be disappointed, I promise.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    *I received a free ARC audio copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 1960s Chicago. Two teenagers, Margie and Doreen, find themselves pregnant and unmarried, through very different sets of circumstances. One is madly in love with her boyfriend; the other is assaulted by her employer. Both end up at Holy Family, a home for unwed expectant mothers, in order for their families to avoid the shame associated with their sin. Choices are made for them, closed adoptions are arranged, even th *I received a free ARC audio copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 1960s Chicago. Two teenagers, Margie and Doreen, find themselves pregnant and unmarried, through very different sets of circumstances. One is madly in love with her boyfriend; the other is assaulted by her employer. Both end up at Holy Family, a home for unwed expectant mothers, in order for their families to avoid the shame associated with their sin. Choices are made for them, closed adoptions are arranged, even their real names are kept secret at the home so that they can erase that chapter in their history altogether. Except it doesn't quite work out that way. This is a historical fiction covering a period that seems close but feels so far from today. It is well-written, compelling, and fascinating in its dual narrator perspective. It is also heartbreaking. I appreciated the way the author set the story over several years instead of concentrating only on the period spent within the home. How the relationships between characters evolved (or not) and how each of the girls grows and finds peace make this book what it is. The book is certainly about moral expectation and cruelty of authority figures. But it is first and foremost about two women who survived it all. Recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    Girls in Trouble An incredible story of girls lives interrupted. Choices made for them by others and life changing events which would always be with them. Young and frightened, scared and ashamed they all came to the Holy Family home for wayward girls. They were told it was for the best that they could just resume life as it was before afterwards, but it wasn't true. Life did not resume afterwards it was changed for them forever. The Holy Family home for wayward girls was not a nice place to be. Girls in Trouble An incredible story of girls lives interrupted. Choices made for them by others and life changing events which would always be with them. Young and frightened, scared and ashamed they all came to the Holy Family home for wayward girls. They were told it was for the best that they could just resume life as it was before afterwards, but it wasn't true. Life did not resume afterwards it was changed for them forever. The Holy Family home for wayward girls was not a nice place to be. The nuns criticized, belittled and shamed the girls and some were cruel. The doctor and the hospital were rude and uncaring not treating the girls as humans with feelings. These young pregnant girls were sent from their homes to this strange place with no one to talk to about the birth, their babies and what to expect. In this era in history over 1.5 million women relinquished their babies in what is now known as "The Baby Scoop Era". Coerced and shamed into giving them away for adoption by their parents, the nuns and the hospital staff, they often signed papers under the effects of anesthesia. The story follows two such girls Doreen and Margie. Doreen keeps her daughter and Margie signs her son away for adoption. They both suffer from this event. Their families are not supportive of them and criticize everything they do. They are not trusted. Doreen soon learns the challenges and frustrations along with the joys of being a single parent. Margie keeps her son a secret but she anguishes over the decision every day. She only wants to know if he is okay. This affects their lives in every way possible and especially in relationships. They hold secrets from anyone they meet. Doreen keeps her daughter a secret and Margie never tells the secret of her son to anyone. They both suffer mentally as they struggle to regain control of their lives. This was an interesting book, and the characters were well placed. The narration was clear and understandable. I enjoyed listening to this audio book . Thanks to Kelly O'Connor McNees for writing the story, to Carlotta Brentan for a great job narrating it, to HighBridge Audio for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    A moving and incredibly well-written novel about Maternity homes and the widespread forced adoptions that took place among young, unwed mothers in the 1960s. I really enjoyed that the story was told through two girls, giving insight into two very different experiences some these young girls had. Doreen gets pregnant with a Black man's baby, a very taboo thing at the time. Her mother sends her off to the Holy Family maternity house where she meets Margie, a young girl who was raped. While Margie A moving and incredibly well-written novel about Maternity homes and the widespread forced adoptions that took place among young, unwed mothers in the 1960s. I really enjoyed that the story was told through two girls, giving insight into two very different experiences some these young girls had. Doreen gets pregnant with a Black man's baby, a very taboo thing at the time. Her mother sends her off to the Holy Family maternity house where she meets Margie, a young girl who was raped. While Margie ends up being forced to give her son up for adoption, Doreen is lucky enough to manage to keep her daughter. The story also follows these two women's lives after their time in the home and how their experiences haunt them for years afterwards. I enjoyed Doreen's experience raising a biracial girl on her own and Margie's attempts to start a new life while never being able to forget about the baby she lost. Heartbreaking and eye-opening, this is a must read, especially for fans of Looking for Jane (coincidentally also published March 1st). Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction based on real events. Much thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance listening copy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    *I received a free audio ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Poignant, deep, thought-provoking. The Myth of Surrender covers a dark period of our history which most are still unaware of - the Baby Scoop Era, when thousands of babies were torn from unwed mothers and adopted out. It may not have moved me as much as it did were I not a mother. Throughout the book I kept imagining the trauma of going through this myself - pressured, hidden, shamed. Going into birth blind and then *I received a free audio ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* Poignant, deep, thought-provoking. The Myth of Surrender covers a dark period of our history which most are still unaware of - the Baby Scoop Era, when thousands of babies were torn from unwed mothers and adopted out. It may not have moved me as much as it did were I not a mother. Throughout the book I kept imagining the trauma of going through this myself - pressured, hidden, shamed. Going into birth blind and then being coerced while still under the influence of twilight sleep drugs to sign my child away forever. The anguish of losing your child. The stress on the baby. It makes you think of the many deep seated issues that culminated in these events. It provides insight into where we are today with how we view life, motherhood, and adoption. In the process, The Myth manages to tackle other issues which were equally important in its time and which we are still dealing with today in many ways. It does so beautifully, all while telling an engaging story that held my attention the entire time. Such a good book! I would highly recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Ugh… this book tears at your heartstrings! 🥺 4.5⭐️ The Baby Scoop Era — I knew nothing about this, or maybe I did without the name. The story is told in both Chicago and Milwaukee. (In fact, one of our MCs attends Mt Mary College, where I received my Bachelor of Arts.) The story starts out with our MCs as teens. Both become pregnant, but under very different circumstances. These differences also play out in a tragic and tortured way for 5 years after the birth of the babies. It’s a story of uncon Ugh… this book tears at your heartstrings! 🥺 4.5⭐️ The Baby Scoop Era — I knew nothing about this, or maybe I did without the name. The story is told in both Chicago and Milwaukee. (In fact, one of our MCs attends Mt Mary College, where I received my Bachelor of Arts.) The story starts out with our MCs as teens. Both become pregnant, but under very different circumstances. These differences also play out in a tragic and tortured way for 5 years after the birth of the babies. It’s a story of unconditional love, forgiveness and doing the right thing. Thank you to #NetGalley for an advanced audio experience.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elissa

    4.5

  9. 5 out of 5

    Margo Stocker

    4.5. This is very compelling and interesting book. It is the first time I have read a book about young girls being forced to move into a home for unwed mothers and being forced to give up their babies. The story is told in the voice of a young mother. I highly recommend this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Didn’t quite live up to the summary for me. And “tied with a bow” ending was telegraphed pretty early on. Great story but not what I expected.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lanette Sweeney

    This is a beautiful novel about women sent to a Catholic home for unwed mothers and forced to sign away their babies in the early 1960s. This book deserves a wide readership, so I am disappointed to see how few readers have rated this on Goodreads (though glad to see the reviews are so universally positive). I think the cover might not be that appealing, but I hope people will look past that. This novel tackles lots of hard issues (racism, sexual assault) while telling an engaging, heart-wrenchi This is a beautiful novel about women sent to a Catholic home for unwed mothers and forced to sign away their babies in the early 1960s. This book deserves a wide readership, so I am disappointed to see how few readers have rated this on Goodreads (though glad to see the reviews are so universally positive). I think the cover might not be that appealing, but I hope people will look past that. This novel tackles lots of hard issues (racism, sexual assault) while telling an engaging, heart-wrenching story about "the baby scoop," a term coined to refer to the period when young women were coerced into giving up their babies, another Catholic atrocity committed against its young members, but one that gets far too little attention. The women at the heart of the book are richly drawn characters who I felt deeply invested in while reading about them. Of the two central characters, one has her baby taken and the other manages to keep her baby. Both women suffer in different ways as a result. But there is never a doubt which one got lucky, as while having a child weighs a woman down and short-circuits her choices, the pain she experiences is nothing compared to the anguish suffered by the woman who had her child stolen from her. I appreciated that there were good and bad men and women struggling with their moral choices in this story, only a couple of cardboard villains. The novel also does a wonderful job of evoking the era in which this story is taking place. I highly recommend it! Thanks to Netgalley and High Bridge Audio for giving me a free audiobook version of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    This book centers around two young women - Doreen and Margie - and what happens to them following their pregnancies and the steps that are taken to "correct" their situation. Meeting at a home for women, run by the Catholic Church, the two suffer the fate of being treated as lesser individuals because of their condition. However, despite their similarities, their fates end up being starkly different, as one woman is coerced into giving away her child under duress while the other escapes from the This book centers around two young women - Doreen and Margie - and what happens to them following their pregnancies and the steps that are taken to "correct" their situation. Meeting at a home for women, run by the Catholic Church, the two suffer the fate of being treated as lesser individuals because of their condition. However, despite their similarities, their fates end up being starkly different, as one woman is coerced into giving away her child under duress while the other escapes from the facility and raises her baby as a single mother. Told through alternating vantage points, each of the main characters' stories intertwine and circle back in a most wonderful and heart-wrenching way. I won't spoil the ending but, despite their struggles and trauma, happiness is eventually found for all - but only once they both are able to heal the scars of the past and make choices for their own futures. Taken from the inspiration of true stories told from women who endured the Baby Scoop era (1945-1973), this book is a look into a circumstance that was not quite as rare as one would imagine. Roughly 1.5 million women experienced these maternity homes. That's a lot of pain, fear, and untold stories to unearth. What happens with women and their children should always be a choice!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Movies, Shows, & Books

    Note: This review contains NO spoilers Wow! What a poignant and beautifully written story. This thought-provoking story takes readers on these young girls' emotional journey during a time in history that was kept hidden as a shameful secret. I found the story of these girls a painfully honest revelation of how little support and consideration people (during that era) put on the right to their own bodies for pregnant, unwed young women/girls; an issue that still is happening now, be it unwed and/o Note: This review contains NO spoilers Wow! What a poignant and beautifully written story. This thought-provoking story takes readers on these young girls' emotional journey during a time in history that was kept hidden as a shameful secret. I found the story of these girls a painfully honest revelation of how little support and consideration people (during that era) put on the right to their own bodies for pregnant, unwed young women/girls; an issue that still is happening now, be it unwed and/or married. So much happens in this compelling story for these two young girls (and others) while, at the same time, they are forced to grow up... FAST. It is a gut-wrenching journey for them. The Myth of Surrender takes readers on that emotional and psychological passage of growing up and pregnancy. Regardless of the circumstances, the treatment of these girls was heartbreaking and shameful. The Myth of Surrender is a compelling and moving historical story that I could not put down. Kelly O'Connor McNees wrote an intriguing and touching story that is a definite must-read for any age. Reviewer: Jasmine Disclaimer: We received a free copy for an honest review. All is my own opinion

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Though this is fictional, it tells the story of two young women who represent many thousands who had this very experience and if we are not careful where we will wind up again. Two young women from very different worlds wind up in the same place when they become pregnant. The Holy Family home for “wayward’ girls. As if they got pregnant by themselves and yet they has zero say in what happened to them or their children. It’s an emotional and moving listen as both of these young women (really girl Though this is fictional, it tells the story of two young women who represent many thousands who had this very experience and if we are not careful where we will wind up again. Two young women from very different worlds wind up in the same place when they become pregnant. The Holy Family home for “wayward’ girls. As if they got pregnant by themselves and yet they has zero say in what happened to them or their children. It’s an emotional and moving listen as both of these young women (really girls) move through their experiences at the horror of a home, face abuse, one had their child taken away, while the other struggled to raise a biracial child at a time when it was not even a little bit acceptable and the emotional impact it had on both of them forever. It’s an important story to read or listen to as though we’ve come so far, some young women aren’t in a terribly different place now and if we aren’t careful and not mindful of the past we are going to wind up right back there. My thanks to the author for this interesting and important I received a copy of this audiobook from Netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review. It did not impact my comments.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jayna

    Books are funny. Some you connect with, some you don't. Sometimes you cannot figure out exactly why you do or do not connect. I DNFed two books in three days earlier this week. They were a struggle. I knew on the first page that this book was different. It was kind of like a slow sigh took over me- I knew this book was for me. Set in the 60s, The Myth of Surrender tells the story of two teenage girls, sent to home for unwed pregnant girls. Margie and Doreen are very different- their paths leading Books are funny. Some you connect with, some you don't. Sometimes you cannot figure out exactly why you do or do not connect. I DNFed two books in three days earlier this week. They were a struggle. I knew on the first page that this book was different. It was kind of like a slow sigh took over me- I knew this book was for me. Set in the 60s, The Myth of Surrender tells the story of two teenage girls, sent to home for unwed pregnant girls. Margie and Doreen are very different- their paths leading to the home and after are very different. Yet, they are deeply bonded over a shared experience. The narrator of the audiobook, Carlotta Brentan, is not one I am familiar with, but she did a good job. Well paced, clear, decent voices for dialogue. I received an audio copy in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lara

    Be prepared to have your heart stomped on and mashed flat. While this novel softens a few of the punches delivered by the nonfiction account American Baby (a sympathetic nun, one of the girls has a family that supports her and her baby after she decides to keep it), it is still a wrenching story of what girls who "got into trouble" were forced into in the 1960s, when image was everything and a teenager's pregnancy was viewed more in terms of how this would affect her family than her life. The pu Be prepared to have your heart stomped on and mashed flat. While this novel softens a few of the punches delivered by the nonfiction account American Baby (a sympathetic nun, one of the girls has a family that supports her and her baby after she decides to keep it), it is still a wrenching story of what girls who "got into trouble" were forced into in the 1960s, when image was everything and a teenager's pregnancy was viewed more in terms of how this would affect her family than her life. The push-push-push to just vanish, have the baby, give it up (it makes you a better person, you know, to give away your baby to a real family, makes the sin less sinful) and then forget about it and never speak of it again...I cannot imagine.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    This is a beautifully written story. It was eye-opening to learn more about a time in history in which young women were forced- or at least pushed into maternity homes. It also uniquely ties into the current headlines regarding how much control a woman should have over her own body. This theme spans decades and demonstrates a relevance across multiple generations. I appreciated the way this book explores life after the girls' time in the home. It is ultimately a story of strength and survival. I This is a beautifully written story. It was eye-opening to learn more about a time in history in which young women were forced- or at least pushed into maternity homes. It also uniquely ties into the current headlines regarding how much control a woman should have over her own body. This theme spans decades and demonstrates a relevance across multiple generations. I appreciated the way this book explores life after the girls' time in the home. It is ultimately a story of strength and survival. I would highly recommend this book. Thank you to #NetGalley and #HighBridgeAudio for the opportunity to review this ARC of #TheMythofSurrender in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth Peter

    Doreen and Margie are two young, unmarried girls in the 60s who find themselves pregnant and meet at a maternity home. Here, girls can go through their pregnancy away from home and the nuns that run the maternity home adopt the babies out. From there, the books follows Doreen and Margie in their lives 5 years after meeting at the home. Overall I enjoyed the book though I felt that it started off slow and that the parts at the home were not as gripping as once they left. The narrator was great fo Doreen and Margie are two young, unmarried girls in the 60s who find themselves pregnant and meet at a maternity home. Here, girls can go through their pregnancy away from home and the nuns that run the maternity home adopt the babies out. From there, the books follows Doreen and Margie in their lives 5 years after meeting at the home. Overall I enjoyed the book though I felt that it started off slow and that the parts at the home were not as gripping as once they left. The narrator was great for the story and I felt she did an excellent job. I'm rating this a 4 because I do believe its better than average but if given the choice I would rate 3.5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley and RB Media for the ARC of this audiobook.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lori Spielman

    A brave and important novel that spotlights yet another Catholic Church atrocity, and does so with sensitivity, erudition, and first-rate storytelling. McNees’s literary acumen is on full display in this beautiful, deeply affecting novel, where she explores what it meant to be unwed and pregnant in mid-century America, and the painful secrets kept by the women, their families, and the Catholic Church. Impossible to put down, you’ll find yourself completely swept up as McNees reveals the wake of s A brave and important novel that spotlights yet another Catholic Church atrocity, and does so with sensitivity, erudition, and first-rate storytelling. McNees’s literary acumen is on full display in this beautiful, deeply affecting novel, where she explores what it meant to be unwed and pregnant in mid-century America, and the painful secrets kept by the women, their families, and the Catholic Church. Impossible to put down, you’ll find yourself completely swept up as McNees reveals the wake of secrets and shame left behind by the “Baby Scoop Era”. The fact that maternity homes like this actually existed, that young, frightened, sometimes anesthetized women were shamed and coerced into giving up their children, is nothing short of chilling. Highly recommend!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emma Charles

    I almost didn't pick up The Myth Of Surrender because it was out of my comfort zone genre-wise. However, I am so glad that I decided to read this title because it was absolutely fantastic. The author's writing was beautiful and the story itself was both thought-provoking and heartwrenching. Once I started the story, I could not put it down. This will be a title that I recommend to everyone, regardless of whether they usually read historical fiction or not. (PUB DATE: AVAILABLE NOW) (I received an I almost didn't pick up The Myth Of Surrender because it was out of my comfort zone genre-wise. However, I am so glad that I decided to read this title because it was absolutely fantastic. The author's writing was beautiful and the story itself was both thought-provoking and heartwrenching. Once I started the story, I could not put it down. This will be a title that I recommend to everyone, regardless of whether they usually read historical fiction or not. (PUB DATE: AVAILABLE NOW) (I received an audio recording of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed above are my own.)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beth Glicker

    Loved this story. The author references the book "The Girls Who Went Away" which is a compendium of interviews from women who personally experienced the "baby scoop". I read that book over a decade ago, and it still haunts me. So if the subject of baby scoop (referencing the time period where unmarried pregnant women were sent away and had their children taken from them) interests you, please look for that book. I've ordered the other book the author references, "Wake Up Little Susie" about the Loved this story. The author references the book "The Girls Who Went Away" which is a compendium of interviews from women who personally experienced the "baby scoop". I read that book over a decade ago, and it still haunts me. So if the subject of baby scoop (referencing the time period where unmarried pregnant women were sent away and had their children taken from them) interests you, please look for that book. I've ordered the other book the author references, "Wake Up Little Susie" about the history of birth control and pregnancy, viewed through the lens of race.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    It's a poignant and heartwrenching story that made me feel for the characters. Some less known historical times, the pressure of the society, the drama of losing your child. A story about love, prejudice. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine It's a poignant and heartwrenching story that made me feel for the characters. Some less known historical times, the pressure of the society, the drama of losing your child. A story about love, prejudice. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Thanks #netgallery for this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed that this book didn't focus only on one time period in the main characters lives. Reading about their struggles and growth through time kept my interest. Good boom. Thanks #netgallery for this book in exchange for an honest review. I enjoyed that this book didn't focus only on one time period in the main characters lives. Reading about their struggles and growth through time kept my interest. Good boom.

  24. 5 out of 5

    CR

    Racism, sexual assault, and motherhood are just a few things that this story covers. It's an amazing look at the inner workings of maternity. I loved the main characters but some of the side characters were kind of meh. But they didn't take away from the main story. ~UL Racism, sexual assault, and motherhood are just a few things that this story covers. It's an amazing look at the inner workings of maternity. I loved the main characters but some of the side characters were kind of meh. But they didn't take away from the main story. ~UL

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Cohn

    why am i always taking library books out right before they become terrifyingly prescient. Anyway a very vivid story about pre roe america, just a little dull

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Skurow

    4.5

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Brady

    I received a free ARC audio of this novel from NetGalley A time that seems so far away, but so eye-opening. This was a very well written book about two girls (chapters go between Margie and Doreen) who found themselves both young and pregnant. Their pasts were much different, but they became friends through their paths of being sent to a “home” to then eventually give their babies away. But, Doreen went a different path. Later their paths crossed, they grew up, and created lives for themselves. I I received a free ARC audio of this novel from NetGalley A time that seems so far away, but so eye-opening. This was a very well written book about two girls (chapters go between Margie and Doreen) who found themselves both young and pregnant. Their pasts were much different, but they became friends through their paths of being sent to a “home” to then eventually give their babies away. But, Doreen went a different path. Later their paths crossed, they grew up, and created lives for themselves. I enjoyed seeing the two different paths that they took based off of their decisions and what was forced upon them. There was a lot of hurt, a lot of love, and a very deep novel. Honestly, I would recommend! I think I would’ve enjoyed this novel if I read it vs listened to it. I wasn’t a big fan of the narrator, but it doesn’t deter me from recommending it. In fact, I may read it again!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    The Myth of Surrender by Kelly O'Conner McNees takes place in the 1960s and tells the story of free-sprit Doreen and quiet, book-smart Margie. The two live in Chicago but their lives have never crossed until they are both sent to Holy Family because of unplanned pregnancies and quickly become friends.  These two women have lived different lives financially, personally and emotionally.  Their lives continue in opposite directions as they navigate their pregnancies and what comes after.     This book The Myth of Surrender by Kelly O'Conner McNees takes place in the 1960s and tells the story of free-sprit Doreen and quiet, book-smart Margie. The two live in Chicago but their lives have never crossed until they are both sent to Holy Family because of unplanned pregnancies and quickly become friends.  These two women have lived different lives financially, personally and emotionally.  Their lives continue in opposite directions as they navigate their pregnancies and what comes after.     This book was beautifully written.  Told in both POVs, I was fully invested in both Doreen and Margie's story and did not favor one more than the other.  The novel tells the difficult decisions, or lack there of, women had at the time and follows the consequences that life's obstacles have for each woman.  This book is heart-wrenching and will pull at your heart strings.  I will definitely recommend this book to everyone.   The narrator, Carlotta Brentan, does a fantastic job brining both stories to life. 

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    A reviewer at a bookstore I frequent recommended this book. I listened to it and found it captivating overall. I loved the two main characters. At my age the songs and other details took me back to the 70s where I reviewed in my mind the good and the bad of that era.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ipek A

    I received a free audiobook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm so glad I was able to follow Doreen and Margie in The Myth of Surrender. They were both very compelling characters and the story of decision made for them was very intriguing and sometimes heartbreaking to read. As a parent it's really hard to hear and think about the issues they faced and the stigma surrounding the topic in that era (but also to this day). The narrator does an excellent job of capturing the tone I received a free audiobook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I'm so glad I was able to follow Doreen and Margie in The Myth of Surrender. They were both very compelling characters and the story of decision made for them was very intriguing and sometimes heartbreaking to read. As a parent it's really hard to hear and think about the issues they faced and the stigma surrounding the topic in that era (but also to this day). The narrator does an excellent job of capturing the tone as well, it was very easy to get into. Overall this made for a great read/listen!

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