Review by Marlene Engel
We’d all like to think that we’d do “the right thing” in certain situations, but what would you do if you found an abandoned newborn? That’s exactly what a New York City man had to ask himself when he found an infant on the ACE subway platform. Author, Yona Zeldis McDonough, a Brooklyn native, was so taken by this story that it was the inspiration for this book.
Miranda was content in the thought that she may never be a mother. In her mid-thirties and single, the chances weren’t looking too good. But she had a great job and amazing friends. Things definitely could be worse. Her life changed one night when she was heading home from a night out with the girls. Walking through the subway station, she spied the usual sights … people running to catch their train, a homeless person huddling in the corner, but it wasn’t until she saw a little bundle with a foot sticking out that she stopped to take notice. At first, she thought maybe it was a doll, but when the foot moved she knew that she stumbled upon something more than a child’s discarded toy. She found someone’s discarded baby!
After turning the baby over to the local police, Miranda couldn’t get the thought of that little baby out of her mind. She went to the court to inquire about the infant and was shocked when she was asked to consider fostering the baby. A bit nervous, what did she know about raising a baby?, she decided to take on the challenge. It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with this child, whom she named Celeste. But when a local paper got wind of the story and asked to do an interview, things got complicated. A man claiming to be the baby’s father surfaced and was looking to claim his child. Heartbroken and confused, Miranda was torn between fighting for the baby that she loved and returning her to the rightful parent.
As a foster and adoptive parent, this book spoke volumes to me. I could relate to much of what Miranda was going through with the inner turmoil of loving a child unconditionally, yet knowing that they can be taken from you without question. The joys that a child brings to your life, and the sorrows of the unknown. The author does a brilliant job of bringing out real, raw emotions while making you feel like you’re living the story along with Miranda.
A heart-wrenching story about love, family, sacrifices … life! Go out and get this book. You won’t be able to put it down until you hit the last page!
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About the Author:
Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of seven novels for adults: THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS, IN DAHLIA'S WAKE, BREAKING THE BANK (which has been optioned for a film), A WEDDING IN GREAT NECK, TWO OF A KIND and YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME.
She is also an award-winning children's book author with 23 children's books to her credit. THE DOLL SHOP DOWNSTAIRS received a starred review from Jewish Book World saying that it "will become a classic." In another starred review Kirkus called the sequel, THE CATS IN THE DOLL SHOP, "a quiet treasure." THE DOLL WITH THE YELLOW STAR won the 2006 Once Upon a World Award presented by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Her most recent book for children, LITTLE AUTHOR IN THE BIG WOODS: A BIOGRAPHY OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER, came out from Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, on September 16, 2014 and her latest in the popular WHO WAS...? series, WHO WAS SOJOURNER TRUTH?, is forthcoming from Grosset & Dunlap.
For over a dozen years, Yona has been the Fiction Editor at Lilith Magazine. She works independently to help aspiring writers polish their manuscripts.
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