Unbroken Bonds

Woodhall. Oct. 2021. 288p. ISBN 9781949116533. pap. $18.95. F
DEBUT Hogan’s debut looks at the difficulties young women faced in the days when teenage pregnancies and unwed mothers were stigmatized by society. In 1956 Nashville, 17-year-old Joanna discovers she’s pregnant. Her parents are horrified; Jack, the father of her baby, is married and not in a position to leave his wife; and society is less than forgiving of unwed mothers. Joanna is shamed, disowned, and shipped off to a Catholic-run charity in Knoxville, where she is expected to give birth and then place her baby for adoption. There, she meets three girls who will become her lifelong friends: Jessie, Prissy, and Mary. As the four young women work to rebuild their lives in the turbulent decades that follow, they realize that their unplanned pregnancies—which were often decried as the worst mistake the girls could’ve ever made—were the events that led all of them to becoming the remarkable women they are.
VERDICT While Hogan’s novel has a thoughtful and engaging story line, the prose is stilted and choppy, and the voice is often inconsistent. The novel doesn’t handle the passage of time well, as it’s much too short to adequately cover 25 years of the characters’ lives, especially in the time period in which it’s set.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing