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The Possibility of Youby Pamela Redmond
Synopses & Reviews
New York Times bestselling author Pamela Redmond delivers a beautifully written novel about three generations of women in New York City and the experiences that shape and connect them to each other.
The Possibility of You weaves together three interlocking stories involving three women dealing with issues of pregnancy and motherhood at key moments in history of the last century: On the brink of the First World War and the dawn of the modern age; as the liberalism of the ’60s and ’70s gave way to Reagan’s 1980s; and during the autumn of Barack Obama’s election. Contemporary heroine Cait, an African-American journalist raised by white adoptive parents, goes on a search for her birth mother inspired by her own unplanned pregnancy. Orphan Billie travels from her hippie upbringing in San Francisco to discover the upscale New York grandmother she never knew existed. And Irish nanny Bridget loses the boy she cares for and loves in the 1916 polio epidemic, only to try and replace him with a child of her own.
Delving into the complex emotions that lie at the heart of unplanned pregnancy, motherhood, and the definition of family, this sweeping inter-generational saga illuminates the struggles of these very different women—and shows how the search for belonging is a connection that remains universal.
"Redmond's latest novel takes place against the backdrop of 20th-century American feminism, following three generations of women struggling with unplanned pregnancies, broken homes, family tragedies, and the lifelong consequences of bad choices. In the present day, Cait, a globe-trotting reporter, gets pregnant after a one-night stand, forcing her to confront the decision her mother made 35 years ago to put her up for adoption. In 1976, orphaned and impoverished Billie is taken in by her eccentric grandmother Maude — a woman she'd long thought dead — and slowly uncovers the torrid circumstances of her family's estrangement. And in 1916, Irish nanny Bridget works for Maude, a suffragist and socialite too busy to care for her infant son. When the baby contracts polio, Bridget and Maude's relationship takes a perverse turn that will influence their families for generations. Redmond has written a crisply paced novel, but she also traffics in stereotypes and sentimentality and makes a misstep in turning real-world feminist icons — including Margaret Sanger, Beatrice Hinkle, and Patti Smith — into minor characters to explore modern sexual politics. Despite effective layers of suspense and intrigue, the story fails to overcome its shortcomings. Agent: Melissa Flashman, Trident Media Group." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
1916. It was the one thing Bridget was supposed to never let happen. But no matter how many times she replayed the steps in her head, she couldnt reanimate the small pale boy who lay limp in her arms.
1976. Billie felt as if shed been wrenched in half more surely than when the baby had been cut from her body. But she felt something else too: happy to think only of her own needs, her own tears. So light she could float away, somewhere no one would ever find her.
The present. Even if Cait never found her birth mother, even if she decided not to have this baby, to leave her lover and kiss her parents good-bye, she was surrounded by so much emotion, so many questions, that she felt as if she might never be free again.
Can we ever atone for the sins of the past? Or does each generation of women invent itself anew? In a complex and beautifully told masterpiece set against key moments for women in the last century, New York Times bestselling author Pamela Redmond intertwines the heartrending stories of Bridget, Billie, and Cait, and explores the ways in which one womans choices can affect her loved ones forever. As these three women search for identity and belonging, each faces a very personal decision that will reverberate across generations, tearing apart families, real and imaginary, perfect and flawed, but ultimately bringing them together again.
About the Author
Pamela Redmond is the author of eighteen books, most recently the New York Times bestseller How Not to Act Old, which was optioned to DreamWorks. She is the author of five novels, including Younger and The Man I Should Have Married, and the coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books and the related website NameBerry.com. She is a columnist for Glamour and writes frequently for such publications as The Daily Beast and More magazine among many others.
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