Three women, Becca, Sandy, and Faith meet at a maternity hospital in New Orleans as they try to run away from society and their families to save themselves from being shunned and humiliated. The three grow closer and closer as they learn each other’s backgrounds and life stories. Becca, after falling in love with the wrong man, ran to New Orleans to protect her secret. Sandy has somehow made it out of the clutches of her mother’s abusive boyfriend, while Faith is recovering from an unspeakable attack. Each of them has a different past, but they all share a common present; they’re all expecting a baby. Twenty-five years later, the women reunite as a blackmailer threatens to leak their secrets.
No Names to Be Given by Julia Brewer Daily takes us back to the 1960s when having a baby out of wedlock was not only frowned upon but considered a sin worthy of severe punishment. The tale of the three strong-willed and powerful women depicts the life of thousands of women from that era. Inspired by real-life experiences, the book carries significant weight in terms of providing insight into the lives of women facing hardships enforced by society and their families during the 1960s and 1990s.
Julia Brewer Daily has done a commendable job of creating three distinctive yet relatable characters while presenting complex social structures of the past. From the civil rights movement to racial discrimination, the author includes all social issues in a comprehensible manner that makes it easier for younger audiences to reflect and ponder upon. The book is a great learning ground for those interested in women's studies programs to understand how universal issues have transformed through the years. As a debut novel, No Names to Be Given has set a precedent for aspiring writers. It is balanced and deft, featuring prose that is gorgeous and characters that are elaborately explored, and conflict that is real and that moves the story to places readers won’t imagine. It is one of the best womens fiction I have read in years.