Friday, March 18, 2022

BLOG TOUR: The Myth of Surrender by Kelly O'Connor McNees


Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Award-winning Author Kelly O'Connor McNees's The Myth of Surrender. Today, on our tour stop, we have a review on this new release to share. There's even a tour-wide giveaway to share, too! So... Be sure to check it out and grab your copy now! Follow the tour, HERE.

Young Adult
Historical Fiction
Publish Date:
March 1, 2022

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.



Praise for The Myth of Surrender

McNees has written a powerful, cinematic, and very beautiful novel about the miracles and catastrophes of motherhood. The women who inhabit this story are all so gloriously alive! Humane, compelling, sharp, and sensitive, The Myth of Surrender will stay with me for a very long time.” —Amy Dickinson, “Ask Amy” advice columnist, New York Times bestselling author of The Mighty Queens of Freeville

“A brave and important book. McNees’s literary acumen is on full display in this beautiful, deeply affecting novel. She explores what it meant to be unwed and pregnant in mid-century America with sensitivity, erudition, and first-rate storytelling. Impossible to put down, this is a spell-binding tale of deceit, abuse, and ultimately, reclamation.” ―Lori Nelson Spielman, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

"Both an illumination of the past and an indictment of the present, The Myth of Surrender is McNees at her best—giving voice to women who could not speak for themselves.” —Eleanor Brown, New York Times bestselling author of THE WEIRD SISTERS and THE LIGHT IN PARIS

“A timely and powerful tale of motherhood, loss, and second chances. Kelly O’Connor McNees’s unforgettable novel illuminates an era that all too many people tried to forget. The scars are there—brava to McNees for also revealing the beauty.” —Siobhan Fallon, author of YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE and THE CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES


**About the Author**
Photo Content from Kelly O'Connor McNees
Kelly O’Connor McNees’s award-winning novels transport readers to pivotal moments in history as seen through the eyes of the resilient, fascinating women who lived through them. Whether it’s a “moving and intimate glimpse” (Publisher’s Weekly) of Eleanor Roosevelt’s love affair with Lorena Hickock in Undiscovered Country, or the tough decisions of Clara, a mail-order bride broker, in In Need of a Good Wife, or Louisa May Alcott’s excruciating choice between love and her writing career in The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott, readers are immersed in riveting stories often overlooked in American history.

O’Connor McNees’s forthcoming novel, The Myth of Surrender (March 2022, Pegasus), is the story of an unlikely friendship forged between two young women navigating the secrecy and shame of unwed pregnancy at a home for wayward girls, at the height of the Mad Men age.

In addition to her five novels, Kelly’s writing has appeared in The Millions, The Washington Post, The Toast, and in Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology. She has also written for The Boxcar Children series. Kelly is represented by Kate McKean of the Howard Morhaim Literary Agency. Born and raised in Michigan, she lives in Chicago with her family.

Stay connected with Kelly O’Connor McNees


*My Thoughts*

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 the 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.

My rating:


***The Giveaway***


Giveaway Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter
- ends April 4, 2022 
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

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