First Names Only: A New Zealand Novel
Janice at 18 is ambitious and has set her sights on a top degree in languages. When she finds she is pregnant Janice's world comes crashing down - for this is 1960s New Zealand, when to be single and pregnant is a disgrace. Janice has no choice but to enter Sunnyvale, a home for unmarried mothers in Auckland. Once the baby is born the maternal tug is powerful and Janice longs to keep him. But these are the days when there was no government support for the unmarried mother and it is expected that most girls will have their babies adopted. Many childless couples long for a baby and are prepared to give it every advantage in life. But can Janice bear to give up her child with the knowledge that she may never see him again? Faced with this heart-rending decision what is she to do? This story will resonate with many women who faced a similar situation in the 1960s and the children who were born to them. It provides an insight into the very sensitive issues surrounding the unmarried mother and adoption.
Elaine Blick was born in Salisbury, England and moved to New Zealand when she was five years old and has spent her life living between the two countries. She was a teacher and holds an MA degree from Auckland University. She has written three previous novels: Where the Bellbird Sings (2011), No White Flowers, Please (2012) and When This War is Over (2013).