The Girls Who Went Away

  • by Ann Fessler
  • Narrated by Coleen Marlo
  • 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this deeply moving and myth-shattering work, Ann Fessler brings out into the open for the first time the astonishing untold history of the million and a half women who surrendered children for adoption due to enormous family and social pressure in the decades before Roe v. Wade. An adoptee who was herself surrendered during those years and recently made contact with her mother, Fessler brilliantly brings to life the voices of more than 100 women as well as the spirit of those times, allowing the women to tell their stories in gripping and intimate detail.

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What the Critics Say

"Fessler recounts her own journey to find and reunite with her birth mother in this heartrending look at the untold story of American women compelled to surrender their children." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Sad but True ... and Helpful

What did you love best about The Girls Who Went Away?

The stories were heartwrenching. Each of them different but all connected in the heartache. I have my own story, and it's different and yet the same. It was healing for me and I recommend, HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who has given up and I use 'given up' purposefully, their baby for adoption.


What did you like best about this story?

The honesty. The chance for a happy ending.


What does Coleen Marlo bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

This was my first audio book so it's hard for me to answer, but I enjoyed the listening.


What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

There are a lot of secrets out there. A lot of young girls being shamed and traumatized by the way society views teen pregnancy and it's so unfair. These girls were just the ones who got found out, all the girls, or most of them anyway were having sex.


Any additional comments?

I read this book as recommended by my social worker as I was working on finding my son. It was like I had a friend and I highly recommend it. P.S. I found my son and life is good. Next week for the first time in 40 years I get to wish him a happy birthday. Can not wait!!

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- Kim Kavanagh

Great book

Great book. It is detailed in the accounts and life style of the era of the time. It gave me a better understanding of why children were given up
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- Lavon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-08-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio