“A gorgeous, thrilling, and important novel! These strong women will capture your heart.”
– Stacey Swann, author of “Olympus, Texas”
AUSTIN, Texas – Would you be able to give up your first-born to strangers? Told from the perspective of three different women in the 1960s, “No Names to Be Given” (Admission Press) delves into the lives of three young women forced to do just that. The heartbreaking but uplifting debut novel by Julia Brewer Daily is a story that chronicles the desperate push and pull between family and redemption.
The widely anticipated and award-winning debut is a glimpse into the lives of women forced by society to gift their newborns to strangers. Although this novel is a fictional account, it mirrors many of the adoption stories of its era. When three young unwed women meet at a maternity home hospital in New Orleans in 1966, they are expected to relinquish their babies and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together by blackmail and their secrets threatened with exposure — all the way to the White House.
Told from the women’s perspectives in alternating chapters, readers will be mesmerized by the societal pressures on women in the 1960s who found themselves pregnant without marriage. How that inconceivable act changed them forever is the story of “No Names To Be Given,” a novel with southern voices, love exploited, heartbreak and blackmail.
“No Names to Be Given”
Julia Brewer Daily | Aug. 3, 2021 | Admission Press | Women’s/Historical/Literary Fiction
Hardcover, 9780998426181, $29.99 | Paperback, 9780998426174, $16.99
Ebook, 9780998426167, $4.99 | Audiobook, 9780578856162, $19.99
About the Author
Julia Brewer Daily is a Texan with a Southern accent. She holds a B.S. in English and a M.S. degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has been a communications adjunct professor at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, and public relations director of the Mississippi Department of Education and Millsaps College, a liberal arts college in Jackson.
She was the founding director of the Greater Belhaven Market, a producers’ only market in a historic neighborhood in Jackson, and even shadowed Martha Stewart. As the Executive Director of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi (300 artisans from 19 states) which operates the Mississippi Craft Center, she wrote their stories to introduce them to the public.
She is a member of the Writers’ League of Texas, the Women Fiction Writers’ Association, the San Antonio Writers’ Guild and the Women’s National Book Association.
Daily is an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. She searched and found her birth mother and through a DNA test, her birth father’s family, as well. A lifelong Southerner, she now resides on a ranch in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband, Emmerson, and Labrador retrievers, Memphis Belle and Texas Star. For more on Julia, visit her website juliadaily.com.
Praise for “No Names to Be Given” and Julia Brewer Daily
“This book is a relevant read and one that will keep readers guessing page after page until the very end.” — The US Review of Books
“An insightful and sympathetic view offered into the lives of those who were adopted and those who adopted them.” — Pam Johnson, author of “Justice for Ella”
“A novel worthy of a Lifetime movie adaptation.” — Jess Hagemann, author of “Headcheese”
“Readers can expect deep knowledge of the world the characters inhabit.” — Sara Kocek, author of Promise Me Something
“I found myself thinking about Becca, Sandy, and Faith frequently as I went about my day — I was always excited to sit down and find out what happened next.” — Sarah Welch, author of “Austin Brown Dogs: The Shelter Dogs Who Rescue Us”
“Today’s young women, especially, need to absorb ‘No Names to Be Given.’ ” — Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan, senior reviewer
“How could such a tragic choice be an everyday kindness from one woman to another?”
— Story Circle Book Reviews
“The characters in ‘No Names to Be Given’ step off the pages of the book and into your heart. This book is a fist full of emotions rolled up into an unforgettable journey. Hold onto your hat as Julia Brewer Daily takes you on a ride that is truly remarkable.” — Diane Williams, author of “The Life and Legacy of B.B. King: A Mississippi Blues Icon”
In an interview, Julia Brewer Daily can discuss:
- Her personal experience as an adopted child from a maternity home in New Orleans and how she drew on those experiences when writing the book
- Adoption today compared and contrasted with the process during the early to mid-1900s
- The evolution of women’s reproductive rights and stigma around unwed mothers
- The process behind writing her award-winning debut novel
- Her Southern roots and how they helped inspire the book’s setting
- Future projects she’s working on
An interview with Julia Brewer Daily
1. You have a uniquely personal connection to the story. Can you explain the inspiration behind the book?
I am an adopted child from a maternity home hospital in New Orleans. This debut novel has the same memoir thread running through it with three protagonists who meet at a maternity home in New Orleans to relinquish their babies for adoption and return home as if nothing transpired. Twenty-five years later, they are brought back together with a blackmailer threatening to expose their secrets — all the way to the White House. Their adopted children are featured in the novel, as well, and one of them mirrors my own life. DNA results are used in “No Names to Be Given” to find an adopted child, just as I found my birth father’s family through DNA results. Although there was no blackmail in my own life, many birth mothers I researched were threatened with their secrets of becoming pregnant before marriage and giving their children for adoption.
2. Though the book is a novel, the reality of maternity homes in the early to mid-1900s is well-documented. How did you balance the fact from the fiction?
Societal mores in the 1960s forced unwed pregnant women to relinquish their babies for adoption. Adoption is a two-sided coin — heartbreak and loss for the birth mother, joy, and elation for the adoptive parent. It is a subject that has not been fully explored in books and film. One hundred million people in the U.S. have adoption in their immediate families. Although “No Names to Be Given” is a fictional account, it is based on many true stories and sparks conversations about adoptive parents, birth mothers, adopted children and the life-long impact on all three groups.
3. The main characters – Becca, Faith and Sandy – are complex and incredibly different. How did you go about developing each woman so they were unique yet still harmonious as a trio?
I wanted readers to recognize that women from all soci-economic backgrounds experienced the same social and family pressures to relinquish their babies for adoption. So, in that aspect they were very much alike. Each of the women in “No Names to Be Given” transform from being fearful and controlled to being strong women who survived a traumatic experience and moved past it. They had false beliefs that they were not worthy and would not be able to handle the scars and wounds in their psyches, but they developed into impressive women, in spite of the trauma.
4. While there is less stigma around unwed mothers today, there’s still a large focus on women’s reproductive rights. What are some differences you see today? Some similarities?
Because the book is set in the 1960s during a time when pregnant women were expected to give up children out of wedlock, I think young women today will learn about a time of which they know little. Perhaps the lesson for us is to learn from history and not repeat our mistakes, mainly the shame inflicted on young women who were forced to give up their babies. The struggles continue today with laws instructing women what they can and must do with their own bodies. Interestingly, we do not see those same levels of requirements for men.
5. What do you hope readers gain from the book?
Forty years ago, when I had the idea for this book, there were few stories about adoption. Today, that is no longer the case. However, I lived the adoption story and can give glimpses into all aspects, from the birth mothers, adopted children and adoptive parents’ points of view. It is a story that sparks a discussion about the complex topic of adoption and the ramifications that existed then and today.
6. What are you writing next?
I wrote a second women’s fiction novel about a female heir to the largest ranch in Texas who stumbles upon an ancient people living on her property. It is currently being edited and should be published in 2022.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.