"Giving a child up for adoption haunts this woman who denies herself the freedom to love another."
Reviewed by Kay Quintin
Posted April 29, 2015
Piper George writes young adult books dealing with
Living in Erie, Pennsylvania Pip relives being a 16-year-
old girl giving her
baby girl up for adoption to the family she deserves. The
she has ever done was out of love for the child she knew
qualified to give the best life which she deserved.
Pip keeps a journal of the passage of time since the birth
for her daughter
and fills the pages with her account of the love she has
for the child,
whom she calls Amanda. Each page recounts the time since
she was a
teen mother, the decision to place her for adoption and
love for the child she's unable to forget. Her new
Chesterfield becomes her closest friend, confiding
everything in him
except her lost child. The closer they become a romantic
never enters her mind. Ned is there for support when Pip
including becoming involved in her efforts. Amanda's
Pantry is started by
Pip in honor of her daughter to aid all children hungry
and in need of
clothing and nurturing love and care. As much as Pip
cares for Ned,
fearing she has given so much of herself to the memory of
daughter, she feels she may not have enough left to commit
When Ned learns of the child she lost he must find a way
to bring reality
to Pip that she has enough love to include others without
being disloyal to
It has been a while since I have read anything so
emotional and heartfelt.
Holly Jacobs clearly has written a story from her heart
and soul and shared
that with her readers. Such a poignant tale of love of a
child given up for
adoption makes your heart ache with the loneliness of this
present a tale with such a loss and yet give this woman
such a drive to
become the fantastic person she does, just makes your
heart bleed for
her. I could not keep from crying as I lived through the
spirit of this
woman and the suffering she endured. It will be a long
before I forget CARRY HER HEART a very remarkable and
“Maybe we live our lives constantly becoming and
rebecoming. Maybe we’re always in the process of
metamorphosing into something new.”
In her journal, writer Piper George notes the change of
seasons. Each entry marks the passage of time since she
became a teen mother and put her baby up for adoption.
Her words flow together, painting a picture of loss,
hope, and enduring love for the daughter she’s never
forgotten. But one autumn, a new presence appears in its
pages and in her life: her neighbor, Edward “Ned”
As winter thaws to spring, Piper and Ned develop a
friendship that could be something more…if only Piper
would open her heart. But the loss of her daughter has
irrevocably shaped her life. And having given so much of
herself away, she’s not sure if she can give Ned all that
he deserves. But with him at her side, Piper just might
learn that a heart’s love is never truly lost.
ExcerptI sat on my front porch and took a sip from a bone china
teacup with tiny forget-me-nots painted on the side.
It was a civilized, proper cup.
I looked down at my laptop, which was balanced on the holey
jeans that covered my outstretched legs. My legs were propped
on the porch railing.
There was nothing particularly proper looking about me.
I didn’t need a mirror to know that my carrot-red hair had
gone Medusa again and was breaking free of its twisty. As for
my jeans, I swear my knees must be knobbier than the average
woman’s, or maybe because I worked at home and wore them
daily, they just gave up more rapidly. Either way, my three
favorite pairs of jeans all had holes in the knees . . .
I’d have to go shopping.
I hate going shopping.
I could buy most of what I needed online and avoid the stores,
but jeans were an item of clothing that must be tried on.
I stared at my blank screen and took another sip of my tea.
I liked working on the porch.
I watched all the cars that stopped in front of the school
across the street. Passenger doors opened and children were
disgorged from them at regular intervals. Tall, skinny kids,
short, roundish ones. Loud ones who started shrieking friends’
names before their feet hit the pavement. Quiet ones, who
could seem alone even in the midst of the morning chaos.
Boys. Girls. Nerds. Jocks. Happy. Sullen.
They were all my inspiration.
They were also my audience.
In a sea of young adult books that dealt with paranormal
elements, from wizards to vampires, I currently wrote reality-
based books for preteens. I’d written books for much younger
children in the past, but as my audience aged, so did my
Maybe it was time to angle my books away from elementary and
middle school audiences and toward high school students?
I tried to concentrate on the scene in front of me. I only had
a few more weeks before the Erie, Pennsylvania, weather got
too cold to work outside. I always hated moving inside for
work. This porch was where I found Julie and Auggie, Terry the
Terrible, and Beautiful Belle.
This porch was also where I tried to imagine Amanda.
A girl with auburn-brown braids that thumped up and down on
her back as she walked to a group of girls and joined in the
talk. She was new. I know I’d have remembered her. She was
talking to a group of bigger kids. Probably eighth graders,
the oldest class at this school. She was animated as she
spoke. She’d work as a character. I ...
I was distracted from the scene playing out across the street
by a moving van that pulled into the driveway next door. The
Morrisons had moved out three weeks ago. The “For Sale” sign
on the front yard had had a “Sold” sticker plastered across it
for a few weeks longer than that. But after the Morrisons had
moved out, no one else had moved in.
The door of the van opened and a man got out.
I only needed that first quick glance to know he was cute.
I tried to study him circumspectly. And I immediately thought
of him as a fictional character. If I were writing him in a
book, I’d make him a . . . coach. He had that every-man sort
of look to him. He was good-looking, but not intimidatingly
so. Still, he was good-looking enough that there was a spark
I’ll confess, I don’t go out a lot and don’t meet a ton of
eligible, single men. I meet even fewer who give me that zing
of awareness. The sort of feeling that reminded me that I was
a woman in my prime.
I took another glance at the man I was zinging over. His hair
was . . . neat. Not too short but not long by any stretch of
the imagination. And it was brown. Not dark brown bordering on
black and definitely not punctuated with blond highlights. No,
this man’s hair was a straight-up, use-a-Crayola-brown-crayon-
if-you-were-coloring-him sort of brown.
He was tan. Not in a lies-out-in-the-sun sort of way, but
rather he had a skin tone that came from ancestors who came
from sunnier climates than mine. I made people who were pale
Judging from the van, he was not overly tall, nor was he
overly short. Average.
I tried to ignore my zing and concentrate on my book. This man
would make a perfect coach. Put a baseball cap on him and give
him a whistle and a glove . . .
At some point, I’d started typing.
“Couch,” Felicity called. “Your name’s funny.”
“Coach,” Coach Divan responded, correcting her pronunciation.
“Couch Divan. I bet people pick on you. My grandma calls her
couch a divan. So you’re really Couch Couch.”
“Coach,” he repeated.
“I like Couch better. Couch Divan. Yep. Couch Couch. Yeah, I
That one syllable pulled me from my story and I realized the
man who had reminded me I was a woman and was my potential new
neighbor as well as an inspiration for a new character was
standing at my porch railing.
“Sorry. I got caught up in . . .” I wasn’t going to tell him
what I’d been caught up in. It’s better not to scare new
acquaintances with my profession. Some worry they’d become
fodder for my fiction.
Frankly, some did.
I started again. “Hi. Are you my new neighbor?”
He nodded. “Edward Chesterfield. Ned, to my friends.”
I couldn’t help it. I started to laugh. Really, it was more of
a giggle than a full-out laugh.
I’d written an article years ago for a historical magazine
about the evolution of the modern sofa, which was the only
reason I know that a variety of couches are known as
Given what I’d been writing, it was funny. Well, maybe not in
a stand-up comedy routine sort of way, but to a woman who
spent a lot of her time entertaining herself, it was
My new neighbor, Ned, looked at me like I was nuts.
“Sorry. Really. It’s just that . . .” Man, I was making a muck
of this. I’m pretty sure that telling a man you were amused
that there was a type of couch that bore his family name
wasn’t going to convince him of your sanity.
I settled for simply introducing myself. “I’m Piper. Piper
George. Do you need a hand moving stuff in?”
“Miss Pip,” a group of kids from last year called from across
the street. I was the kindergarten story lady at the school.
Some years, for first or second grade, too. I went in a few
times a week. Sometimes I read my books, and sometimes I
simply read some of my favorite children’s books. Where the
Wild Things Are, The Wild Baby Book . . .
I waved back to the kids. “Have a good first day.”
“Pip?” my new neighbor asked.
That was my writing name and how the kids all knew me, but no
adults called me that. “It’s Piper,” I corrected. “So do you
need any help, Ned?”
He shook his head. “Thanks, but I have some friends coming
over to help.”
“Well, good luck and welcome to the neighborhood. If you need
anything, I’m around more often than I’m not.” Great. Now he
was convinced I was nuts and a hermit. So I added an
explanation. “I work from home.”
He nodded and asked, “Are you going to explain what’s so funny
about my name?”
I smiled. “It wasn’t your name, but my mind.”
“Your mind, Pip?” he asked.
“Piper,” I corrected again. “And my mind works in mysterious
ways, Ned Chesterfield.”
He studied me a moment, then simply nodded and went back to
I was pretty sure I had not made an auspicious first
But seriously, my inspiration for Couch Divan—Couch Couch—was
I chuckled again.
Little things amused me. That was a good thing, because little
things were far more prevalent in my life than big things.
Some people might have a problem with that, but frankly, I
loved my life. I made a living at my writing, which allowed me
to spend my free time volunteering. I thought both things made
a difference, and that was enough for me.
I took a sip of my now-cold tea from my favorite forget-me-not
cup and went back to work on Couch Couch. I watched as a car
full of men pulled up next door and began unloading the moving
van with Ned Chesterfield.
They all waved and said hi, or at least nodded.
I couldn’t wait to tell my friend Cooper that the new neighbor
was cute. Or maybe I wouldn’t. If she found out he was good-
looking she’d go out of her way to fix the two of us up. I
might try to tell her that I had more requirements from the
men I dated other than being cute, but she would insist that
the first spark of attraction was all I needed to date. Later,
I could find out if there was more.
I watched as Ned came in and out of the house.
And yes, if Coop asked, I’d have to admit there was a spark.
What do you think about this review?
No comments posted.
Registered users may leave comments.
Log in or register now!