Y by Marjorie Celona
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This novel is gorgeously written. It is told from the point of view of Shannon who, as an infant, is abandoned by her birth mother on the steps of a YMCA. But the narrative also explores the incidents leading up to this moment. It's a heart-breaking, aching sort of story in so many ways, but it also forces the reader to examine what makes a family and what defines "home." The final passages of the novel just about blew me away with their cruelty, honesty, and beauty.
The only complaint I have is that I felt a distance from Shannon. Despite the intimate first person voice which narrates both her own story and the story of her mother, she somehow remained elusive, which may very well have been intentional on Celona's part. Shannon is an unknowable creature...but I just wanted her to let me in...if even for only a moment.