The Resource If only, Jennifer Gilmore

If only, Jennifer Gilmore

Label
If only
Title
If only
Statement of responsibility
Jennifer Gilmore
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
At sixteen Bridget is pregnant--and her boyfriend has dumped her for another girl. She's trying to envision a future for her baby. But as she sifts through the many paths and the many people who want to parent her child, she can't help but feel that there is no right decision. Fifteen years later: Ivy knows that she is now the same age Bridget was when she placed Ivy for adoption. She knows that Bridget was the one who named her. When Ivy goes in search of Bridget--of her own history--will the risks outweigh the benefits of knowing where she comes from and why her birth mother chose to walk away?
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Grades 9-12 This book, which is somewhat experimental in format, alternates between Bridget and Ivy. In 2000, 16-year-old Bridget is pregnant and searching for the perfect parents for her daughter. In 2017, Ivy, also 16, is on a similar hunt for her birth mother. The connection between the two young women is no secret, yet Gilmore injects freshness into her narrative with a third type of chapter: the different possible paths their lives could take. The function of these “If Only” chapters is not immediately obvious, but it certainly adds a unique element to this quiet novel. Distinctly poetic in quality, Gilmore’s prose and dialogue flows easily and naturally. Bridget’s and Ivy’s voices are extremely similar, but this serves to highlight the relationship between the two young women. Gilmore explores different aspects of adoption deftly and with empathy. The novel ends on a cliff-hanger, but one that emphasizes the two girls’ realistic, deeply personal journeys rather than the destinations. -- Kling, Caitlin (Reviewed 6/1/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 19, p94)
  • Gilmore (We Were Never Here) explores how one decision can change the course of multiple lives in this lyrical, heartfelt novel that alternates between the perspectives of a pregnant teen and her child 16 years later. In 2000, Bridget is faced with the impossible mission of picking the perfect adoptive parents for her unborn daughter. But how can she know if she’s making the right choice when she wants so badly to keep her baby? In 2017, her daughter Ivy knows little about her birth mother and is eager to meet her face-to-face, but although the adoption was supposed to be open, no one has heard a word from Bridget in years. Sandwiched between Ivy’s quest to find Bridget and Bridget’s ordeal interviewing prospective parents, chapters show what might have happened if Ivy had been adopted by different couples or raised by her biological mother. Although the alternate possibilities may initially cause some confusion, ideas regarding the butterfly effect (“My life exists because of a swish of that butterfly’s wing,” Ivy speculates. “I could be anywhere. I could be anyone. Am I the best me possible?”) will likely inspire readers to stretch their imaginations. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jennifer Joel, Curtis Brown. (July)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 05/14/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 20, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ A probing look at teen pregnancy and adoption. Acclaimed novelist Gilmore (We Were Never Here, 2016, etc.) explores the loaded subject of adoption from multiple perspectives. She fashions two first-person narratives: Bridget, a pregnant 16-year-old grappling with whether to keep her baby at the turn of the 21st century, and Ivy, a 16-year-old adoptee, who in 2017 decides the time to find her birth mother has come. Early on, Gilmore slowly reveals that Ivy is the daughter Bridget gave to lesbian couple Andrea and Joanne in 2000, exiting their lives shortly thereafter, leaving only letters for Ivy. While the intricately interwoven nonlinear narrative offers much food for thought in terms of identity formation and reflects a concerted effort to present characters from a variety of diverse backgrounds, the novel excels in diving head-on into the deep moral and existential quandaries unplanned pregnancy and adoption present. On the one hand, Bridget expresses the view that "adoption is always the story of someone breaking someone else's heart," just as Ivy tries to reconcile feeling fortunate—"I am the prize. I have never not felt that way."—with wondering "Why did she hand me over in the end? What did I do that was so bad?" Bridget and Ivy are white. Gilmore's gritty multigenerational tale not only seeks to ask adoption's toughest questions, but dares to offer no easy answers: Not to be missed. (Fiction. 14-adult) (Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10676867
Cataloging source
YDX
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gilmore, Jennifer
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
"14+"--Publisher website
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 9
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Adoptees
  • Birthmothers
  • Birthparents
  • Decision making
  • Young adult fiction
  • Adoptees
  • Birthmothers
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Teenage mothers
  • Children of teenage mothers
  • Adoptees
  • Mothers and daughters
Target audience
adolescent
Label
If only, Jennifer Gilmore
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1008983957
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
275 pages
Isbn
9780062393630
Lccn
2018933330
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1008983957
Label
If only, Jennifer Gilmore
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
on1008983957
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
275 pages
Isbn
9780062393630
Lccn
2018933330
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)1008983957

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