The Say So (Hardcover)
I fell in love with Julia Franks' beautiful writing when I read her novel Over the Plain Houses several years ago, and I was excited to hear that she has a new book coming out in June 2023. The Say So tells the story of two women who are pregnant and single. The first woman, Edie, faces her dilemma in the 1950’s when out of wedlock pregnancy was handled with stealth and a good dose of shame. The second woman, Meera, becomes pregnant in the 1980’s. Her options are many but so are societal pressures. This book brings to the surface the emotional and physical suffering that unwed pregnant women faced in the last century (I still have a tough time saying that!). Timely and full of hard truths, The Say So is commentary and a compelling story wrapped in one. As are most of the books I read, this one will make for a terrific book club discussion.— Mamie
From the award-winning author of Over the Plain Houses comes a major novel about two young women contending with unplanned pregnancies in different eras.
Edie Carrigan didn't plan to "get herself" pregnant, much less end up in a home for unwed mothers. In 1950s North Carolina, illegitimate pregnancy is kept secret, wayward women require psychiatric cures, and adoption is always the best solution. Not even Edie's closest friend, Luce Waddell, understands what Edie truly wants: to keep and raise the baby.
Twenty-five years later, Luce is a successful lawyer, and her daughter Meera now faces the same decision Edie once did. Like Luce, Meera is fiercely independent and plans to handle her unexpected pregnancy herself. Along the way, Meera finds startling secrets about her mother's past, including the long-ago friendship with Edie. As the three women's lives intertwine and collide, the story circles age-old questions about female awakening, reproductive choice, motherhood, adoption, sex, and missed connections.
For fans of Brit Bennett's The Mothers and Jennifer Weiner's Mrs. Everything, The Say So is a timely novel that asks: how do we contend with the rippling effects of the choices we've made? With equal parts precision and tenderness, Franks has crafted a sweeping epic about the coming of age of the women's movement that reverberates through the present day.
About the Author
Julia Franks is the author of Over the Plain Houses, which was an NPR Best Book of 2016 and was awarded five literary prizes. She has published essays in outlets like the New York Times, Ms. Magazine, and The Bitter Southerner. While her roots are in the Southeast, she spent years teaching literature in US states and abroad. She lives in Atlanta.
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