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Y Hardcover – 3 Jan 2013

25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571294952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571294954
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.2 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marjorie Celona received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and recipient of the John C. Schupes Fellowship. In recent years, she has been the Olive B. O'Connor Fellow at Colgate University and writer-in-residence at Hawthornden Castle in Scotland. Her stories have appeared in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harvard Review, Glimmer Train, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. Born and raised on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, she now lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For more info, visit marjoriecelona.com or http://www.facebook.com/MarjorieCelonaAuthor

Product Description

Review

This is not a novel of showy writing, but contains a great deal to admire ... Almost everyone in this novel is telling stories, lying, finding narratives of why they did what they did, and why there are who they are. Y is a beautiful, moving book that explores what it takes to belong from a new author with a voice that is bold, surefooted and confident. -- Evie Wyld Guardian 20130216 Celona treats her foundling heroine with brutal exhilaration, dipping between shuddering sadness and other-worldly ecstasy ... It is said that biology is destiny, but in this frequently moving novel Celona sensibly opts for the conclusion that the strongest family unit is not necessarily one that is genetically connected. -- Catherine Taylor Sunday Telegraph 20130217 Compassionate and keenly observed ... Celona's well-judged conclusion does indeed fill the heart to bursting. -- Stephanie Cross Daily Mail 20130131 "Why" is a word that plagues Shannon, the narrator of this assured debut novel ... a sharp and compassionate exploration of the split nature of decisions. The Sunday Times 20130127 The driving force of this debut novel is Shannon's question: why was I abandoned? In her quest to find her real mother, the theme that arises is how our origins influence our identity. While Shannon is a heart-breaking character,Yis a warming story sprinkled with humour, forming the perfect canvas to interrogate these big questions. Psychologies Magazine 20130121 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Marjorie Celona's debut, Y, is a heartbreaking and compassionate story of sacrifice and love, which introduces readers to unforgettable characters and a brilliant new literary voice.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By London Bookworm on 9 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Y is the story of Shannon, a girl in search of her own identity. The book is written from the point of view of the protagonist herself and while we follow her story we also learn about the story of her own mother.
The title is not a coincidence. We learn about the "whys": why we need to know who we are and why, in certain circumstances, a mother would arrive at the decision to abandon her own child.
The book is beautifully written, the characters and the whole story feel very real and there is no judgement or condemnation when talking about sensitive issues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Even though I nearly shed a tear at the end of the book, “Y” left me relieved when it’s ended. Not because of the bad language and appalling storytelling – quite opposite! The books is of real quality, well-thought, engaging and very well-written. It’s just there is too much misery and melancholy, one bad choice followed by the next. And in the end, no redemption.

The other thing that I longed to feel more of – is the connection to the characters. There are a lot of dramatic personae in the book, and yet it felt that I did not really know any of them good enough to emphasize. We know their story, but not their inner world. Descriptions of Western Canada felt more profound and thoughtful, occasionally, then the characters themselves.

Three and a half stars. It's a somewhat difficult story, and I would not recommend it just to anybody.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By maggiefb on 6 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the story of a girl who is eventually named Shannon, though she is thinking of changing her name. She was born to an 18-year-old mother who managed to lose her nearly three-year-old son the day before giving birth. Not an auspicious start to life for this tiny baby who is then abandoned outside a YMCA.
This beautifully written story tells us about Shannon's childhood and adolescence through her own eyes. Alongside this we learn about her natural parents, what happened and why.
After two unsuitable, and in one case abusive, foster placements and a spell in a children's home Shannon is eventually adopted into a loving but materially poor home. She is always restless and unsettled, though, and naturally curious about her origins.
I enjoyed this book very much, finding the events realistic and believable, particularly the conclusion. The descriptions, including mundane cityscapes and the Vancouver Island rainforest provided the narrative with satisfying context. I will definitely read subsequent books by Marjorie Celona.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Malfi on 11 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
Y kept me mildly interested until the end of the book. It was a nice construct, with the stories of the two women growing towards each other, enough to keep the reader's interest alive. The characters felt very real and there was a sense of redemption throughout which was touching. This being said, the book was slow and in my opinion it could have been shorter without losing anything.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janice McKinley on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book it is a sad story well told with empathy and compassion. I wiil read it again and again...
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Format: Hardcover
'Y' tells the story of a baby girl eventually named Shannon and her life from when she was abandoned in front of a YMCA shelter by her mother to age seventeen. This novel is wonderfully written and in particular Celona really captures the emotion surrounding this plot exceptionally well. This novel is sad a lot of the way through and highlights the difficult life that children like Shannon lead but I also felt that this novel was heart-warming and I found it to be a very enjoyable read, I read it in one day. The characters are also all well written and developed and again with the characters of Lydia-Rose and Miranda the emotional aspect of this plot is captured really really well. If you are looking for something different with emotion in it then this is the perfect summer read for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. E. Webb on 17 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't feel as though there was much of a story here. So much more could have been going on. It dragged for me, but I persevered and finished the book. It didn't float my boat.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this on the Oprah Winfrey book club list and was enthralled from page 1!
I love the narration which covers the lives of the 2 main characters up to a point and then from that point on.
The story narrates the life of a baby girl left on the steps of a YMCA. The girl tells the reader of her mothers story up to the point of abandoning her, and it simultaneously tells the story of her life.

Beautifully written. Captivating. I haven't read a story like it before and would 100% recommend everyone reads it!
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