Y by Marjorie CelonaY by Marjorie Celona

Y

byMarjorie Celona

Paperback | June 25, 2013

Pricing and Purchase Info

$14.62 online 
$18.00 list price save 18%
Earn 73 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores

about

Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wine glass. The question we ask over and over. Why?

My life begins at the Y.

So begins the story of Shannon, a newborn baby dumped at the doors of the YMCA, swaddled in a dirty grey sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss Army knife. She is found moments later by a man who catches a mere glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view. All three lives are forever changed by the single decision. 

Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures neglect and abuse but then finds stability and love in the home of Miranda, a kind single mother who refuses to let anything ever go to waste. But as Shannon grows, so do the questions inside her. Where is she from? Who is her true family? Why would they abandon her on the day she was born?

The answers lie in the heartbreaking tale of Yula, Shannon's mother, a girl herself and one with a desperate fate. Yula spends her days caring for her bitter widowed father and her spirited toddler Eugene until the day she meets Harrison, a man who will protect her but also a man with a dark past and stories yet to be revealed. Soon they are expecting a daughter but as Yula goes into labour, she and Harrison are caught in a tragic series of events that will destroy their family and test their limits of compassion and sacrifice.

Eventually the two stories converge to shape an unforgettable story of family, identity, and inheritance. Written with rare beauty, wisdom, and intimacy, Y is a novel that asks "why?" even as it reveals that the answer isn't always clear and that it may not always matter.

Marjorie Celona received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and recipient of the Ailene Barger Barnes Prize. Her stories have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading,Glimmer Train, and Harvard Review. Her debut novel, Y, was nominated for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Amazon.ca F...
Waarom
Waarom

by Marjorie Celona

$11.39

Available for download

Not available in stores

Simon & Schuster 2013 Fiction Sampler
Simon & Schuster 2013 Fiction Sampler

by Teddy Wayne

$0.00

Available for download

Not available in stores

Y
Y

by Marjorie Celona

$39.95

Ships within 1-3 weeks

Not available in stores

Title:YFormat:PaperbackDimensions:376 pages, 8.21 × 5.27 × 0.93 inPublished:June 25, 2013Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143182234

ISBN - 13:9780143182238

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Y

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! Story Description: Hamish Hamilton Canada|August 28, 2012|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-670-06637-7 Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wine grass. The question we ask over and over. Why? My life begins at the Y. So begins the story of Shannon, a newborn baby dumped at the doors of the YMCA, swaddled in a dirty grey sweatshirt with nothing but a Swiss Army knife. She is found moments later by a man who catches a mere glimpse of her troubled mother as she disappears from view. All three lives are forever changed by the single decision. Bounced between foster homes, Shannon endures neglect and abuse but then finds stability and love in the home of Miranda, a kind single mother who refuses to let anything ever go to waste. But as Shannon grows, so do the questions inside her. Where is she from? Who is her true family? Why would they abandon her on the day she was born. The answers lie in the heartbreaking tale of Yula, Shannon’s mother, a girl herself and one with a desperate fate. Yula spends her days caring for her bitter widowed father and her spirited toddler Eugene until the day she meets Harrison, a man who will protect her but also a man with a dark past and stories yet to be revealed. Soon they are expecting a daughter but as Yula goes into labour, she and Harrison are caught in a tragic series of events that will destroy their family and test their limits of compassion and sacrifice. Eventually the two stories converge to shape an unforgettable story of family, identity and inheritance. Written with rare beauty, wisdom, and intimacy, Y is a novel that asks “why?” even as it reveals that the answer isn’t always clear and that it may not always matter. My Review: Y is a compelling look at one young girl’s fight to find the birthmother who abandoned her on the front step of the YMCA on the day she was born. Wrapped in a dirty grey sweatshirt with a Swiss Army knife tucked in as something to remember her by. The story of Shannon is somewhat sad as she is, like a lot of adopted children, shunted from foster home to foster home and suffers abuse at the hands of some of her caregivers until she finds a real family in Miranda, a single Mom and her own daughter Lydia-Rose. Although Lydia-Rose has a difficult time adjusting to having Shannon in their home and is sometimes means to her and treats her with disdain, as they grow they eventually find their place beside each other as sisters should. As Shannon gets older her need to know who her family really is becomes more and more important to her. Who is her mother? Does she look like her. What about her father? What about the man who found her on the steps that day? She eventually tracks down, Vaughn, the man who saw her birthmother, Yula, place her on the steps all those years ago. She befriends Vaughn and they spend quite a bit of time together doing various things and discussing the day she was left and Shannon’s desire to find her family. Vaughn tells her that she must be honest with Miranda, the woman has raised her. Together, Vaughn, Shannon, and Lydia-Rose set out on a journey that will change all their lives. Meanwhile, Yula has been dedicating her life to her bitter widowed father and caring for her young toddler son, Eugene. Then she meets Harrison, a man who will love her but also a man with a very checkered past and he is responsible for a devastating tragedy in Yula’s life that can never be undone. Although we discover some of the answers we wanted to know by the end of the book, I would have liked a couple more chapters to explain a few others things, but I suppose those are left up to our imaginations. I read this book in two afternoons as I just couldn’t put it down. Well done!
Date published: 2013-01-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from was an OK read!! This wasn't my favourite book. Although I did read the book over 3 day time period, I found that the story dragged out and could have been told in about half the book. I'm not absolutely sure why I didn't fall in love with this book, b/c there was undeniably great relationships b/w characters. As well, the writing style is smooth and the author's description of people, places, and feelings is beautifully done. However, I didn't feel complete at the end of the book, and it became almost more of a chore to finish the book rather than a journey. I almost wanted more character development b/w the minor characters and less of the main ones.. I wasn't upset at reading this book, but I wasn't about to highly recommend it to anyone.
Date published: 2012-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Impressive debut Y is Marjorie Celona's newly released debut novel. I think you're going to be hearing lots more about this author and title. "Y. That perfect letter. The wishbone, fork in the road, empty wineglass. The quetion we ask over and over. Why?" And the Y is where the story begins as well - the YMCA in a town on Vancouver Island. The Y is where Shannon's mother Yula leaves her when she is a day old, wrapped in a dirty sweatshirt with a Swiss Army knife as her legacy. As a baby Shannon is shifted through various foster homes until she lands with Miranda and her daughter Lydia-Rose. It is with Miranda that she finally finds some stability and safety. But it is here that she also begins to act out, to question, to search, to need and to want to find her parents and answers. "I want to know who my real family is, who I really belong to, why I look this way, why I feel this ay. I want to know these things more than anything in the world." "I don't need my mother to be a good person. I just want to know who she is." Celona has chosen an unusual narrative style for her book - but it's one that absolutely works. Young Shannon recounts her life and that of her mother as an almost disinterested third party observer, then switches to current day. The story goes back and forth, past and present, between Shannon's story and that of her mother Yula. Each woman's tale is so addicting and absorbing that I could not find a place to stop. I had to keep reading, to discover the why of Yula's decision, to discover if Shannon finds her way, her place, the answers she needs and if it is enough. Celona's prose flow easily and seamlessly, drawing the reader deeper and deeper into the story. Both Shannon and Yula's narratives are powerful and poignant. Although Yula's story is no less compelling, it was Shannon I wanted to hug and comfort. Their lives are not easy to read about, but impossible to turn away from. I was thinking about Y long after I turned the last page. Did I like the ending? What if....? What is the right thing to do? Who can judge? What is love? And that's the mark of a good book - one that keeps you thinking about it after the last page is turned. Definitely recommended.
Date published: 2012-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A heartbreaking & heartwarming tale about what makes a family Shannon is abandoned as a newborn by her mother, who leaves her on the steps of the YMCA. She might not have survived if a man didn't see her mother drop her off and alert someone to the presence of a baby on the doorstep. Thus begins Shannon's childhood, living with different foster families and struggling to understand why her mother would give her away. She's inquisitive, she's mischievous and she's rebellious, often pushing away anyone that gets too close while reaching outwards to find out where she had come from. Two stories told in one voice, makes Y a unique voice to read. Shannon narrates both her own life story as well as her birth mother, Yula's. It's interesting to hear her speak of her mother and father in a time before she was born and, similar to The Lovely Bones, the overseeing narrator almost gives it an eerier vibe. I doubt that the intention was to make it creepy but it did leave me with a kind of disoriented feeling, hearing Shannon refer to her father as such or by his first name. At times, I forgot that it was Shannon's voice and not her mother's telling her own story; that "father" meant Shannon's father and not Yula's (because that would certainly have made it a whole different kind of story!) Y is a heartbreaking and heartwarming tale at the same time. I found myself rooting for Shannon through each of her foster homes and the circumstances she found herself in. Whether it was the living situation or her own foibles, each time there's a stumble you just want to reach out to the poor girl and help her back up on her feet. Celona writes in Shannon's voice with such confusion and wonder, often allowing the reader to feel like they are seeing the world through the child's eyes. The title is so loaded with meaning, and its significance is infused throughout the core of Celona's writing. Whether it means the Y where Shannon was left, or the Y in her mother's name or even just the question "why?", the simple one-letter name for this book holds so much importance to the essence of this story. It reflects on the saying "home is where the heart is", and reexamines the definition of what constitutes a family. Reminiscent of Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals, this book is a powerful debut by a talented author. This, and other reviews can be found on my blog JustALilLost.com
Date published: 2012-08-28

Editorial Reviews

"A compulsively readable debut." - National PostI love ambition in a novel. I love humour, audacity, perseverance, craft. And I am deeply grateful when it gets exquisitely blended in a brand new voice. Y is an evocative look into what makes a family, and what makes a home, and how they are undeniably helixed together. - Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning author of TransAtlantic and Let the Great World Spin"A splendid start for a first novelist who can create characters with many of the qualities of a brave Oliver Twist or an independent Anne Shirley." - Toronto Star"A sharp and compassionate exploration of the split nature of decisions." - The Sunday Times (UK)In Y, her stunning debut novel, Marjorie Celona has created a world so rich and so full that every line merely seems to conform something that has already happened..." - The Globe and Mail"Ms. Celona adroitly confounds many of our expectations...[I]t's refreshing to read a novel in which questions are not so much answered as extended, and Shannon is an appealing narrator, partly because she doesn't feel sorry for herself, at least not for long, or blame others for her struggles." - The New York Times"Marjorie Celona's Y isn't merely an extraordinary debut... Above all I marvel at Celona's clear-eyed and heartbreakingly complex depiction of her characters' psychologies, at the empathetic attention she pays the fierce, flawed, lovable people at this terrific novel's heart. These are incredible characters, and Y is a triumph." - Michael Griffith, author of Trophy"Debut author Marjorie Celona eloquently intertwines Shannon's story with that of the girl's mother, Yula, and the tragic events that led to that day outside the YMCA in a novel that is heartbreaking and optimistic. Shannon is a firecracker of a character--honest to a fault, feisty and brave. Y is a testament to the idea that family is sometimes what we create, not where we are from, and that what we make of things can matter more than anything." - Chatelaine"[Y is a] novel about the interplay of chance and choice in our lives. We are born in a certain place, to certain people, but the choices we make later in life are our own. Enthralling!" - Quill & Quire"Marjorie Celona's Y is moving and utterly beautiful. Dark and bright, fresh and original, this novel grabs you and doesn't let go. What an extraordinary new voice!" - Amanda Boyden, author of Pretty Little Dirty"An accomplished and heart-warming story, Y is a modern variation of the archetypal coming of age tale." - The Walrus"First-time novelist Marjorie Celona creates characters so vivid you worry about them when you set the book down." - More magazine"A gorgeous, moving debut novel... Celona writes with acute sensitivity to how a child see her world [and] renders a character readers will love in all her glorious self-doubt." - The Boston Globe"[Y is] a feat of storytelling. It will leave you raw but softened, carrying a brutal reminder that family is both made and given, something we must endure and embrace." - The Dallas Morning News"Y is the story of humanity's first question: Who am I? This novel tells a pain-filled, utterly essential quest to know who one's family is. There is Oedipus. There is Pip. Now there is Shannon, compelled to search through unbearable secrets and trauma. The style is accomplished, the voice hauntingly matter-of-fact." - Kim Echlin, author of The Dissappeared"Celona writes movingly about basic questions of identity..." - Kirkus Reviews"Celona's prose is fluid and clean, and Shannon and the novel's other characters are rendered in such clear-eyed detail as to make them utterly relatable even in the direst of moments... It is often harder to ask why than it is to ask how. Why can be as hard a question to answer as it is to ask, but Celona does so beautifully and with great compassion for her characters." - Vancouver Observer"Skillful storytelling... With any mystery in life there is a question: is it better to know or not to know? Celona's book explores that question with grace, wit and insight. She's a talented writer and this is a well-written story that is both sad and heart warming. Once readers meet Shannon and read about her truth, they are unlikely to forget her." - Vancouver Sun"Skillful storytelling... With any mystery in life there is a question: is it better to know or not to know? Celona's book explores that question with grace, wit and insight. She's a talented writer and this is a well-written story that is both sad and heart warming. Once readers meet Shannon and read about her truth, they are unlikely to forget her." - Vancouver Sun"Beautifully written..." - Daily Herald Tribune"Celona's clean, fluid prose makes Y a fast and enjoyable read, and her engaging portrayal of Shannon... is both heartbreaking and hilarious. Like Dickens, Celona shines a light on the people society has forgotten; the lonely, the hungry, the hopeless and the unloved. In some ways, Y is a modern telling of the classic orphan story perfected by Dickens. But more than that, it's about family, whatever shape it takes, and the need to belong." - Winnipeg Free Press“Stunning.” - The Globe and Mail“Filled with grace and compassion.” - Heather O'neill"A meditation on loss, identity, and family, Y showcases a tenacious young writer as she schools us in compassion and ultimately cleans house." - O Magazine