THE GIRLS WE SENT AWAY
Girls in her condition don’t have a say.
Lorraine Delford has it all – an upstanding family, a perfect boyfriend, an idyllic home complete with a white picket fence, and the ambition to become an astronaut – until she finds herself pregnant out of wedlock and is sent away to a maternity home to hide her secret shame.
The Girls We Sent Away is a timely novel set in the 1960s during the intersection of the Baby Scoop Era and Space Race. This powerful and affecting story explores autonomy, belonging, and a quest for agency when the illusions of life-as-you-know-it fall away.
Coming March 5, 2024.
Praise for The Girls We Sent Away
“Readers will be entranced as author Meagan Church steadily peels away the veneer of the era, revealing the dark underbelly of a secretive and unforgiving society.”
— Tracey Enerson Wood, internationally bestselling author of The Engineer’s Wife and The War Nurse
“Powerful and affecting, The Girls We Sent Away underscores both the worst and best of the human heart, and the resilience and courage of women forced to walk away from their dreams to piece together new ones. Meagan Church’s sophomore novel is another important masterpiece, shining a light on a horrible bit of women’s history that the world would rather keep in a darkened corner.”
— Joy Callaway, internationally bestselling author of What the Mountains Remember
“[A]n important and vital story. With exquisite writing, Church exposes a murky little pocket of history, and a reprehensible practice that surely had a generational impact on families. Through her captivating and thought-provoking scenes, I became wholeheartedly invested in the outcome of her remarkable heroine, Lorraine Delford, cheering for her all the way.”
— Donna Everhart, USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of The Saints of Swallow Hill
“With beautiful prose and delicate precision, Church transports readers to the tumultuous Baby Scoop era of the 1960s, providing a well-crafted and researched look into the struggles of women during this dark period in history, and evokes a lasting impression of empathy for young Lorraine. Heart-wrenching and thought provoking, The Girls We Sent Away is a captivating novel, impossible to put down and one which will be remembered long after you turn the last page.”
— Terah Shelton Harris, author of One Summer in Savannah and Long After We Are Gone
“Church deeply humanizes this experience like few books have… Well-crafted plot twists and shifting narration add to well-timed tension on every page. This historical fiction novel is another tour de force that showcases the author’s magnificent lens at, once again, showcasing the harrowing and untold stories of girls that we need to read.”
—Amy Clark, author and host of Book Gang Podcast
“Heartbreaking and heart stopping, The Girls We Sent Away is a beautiful exploration of what it means to be human and how resilient the human spirit is. Meagan Church weaves the absence of choices with the desires of the heart together in another page turner.”
— Leslie Hooton, award-winning author of The Secret of Rainy Days and After Everyone Else
“In this stunning novel, Meagan Church weaves historical research and compelling narrative into an elegant tapestry that brings 1960s North Carolina to life. Lorraine Delford is an endearing and relatable heroine whose indefatigable spirit is sure to win readers’ hearts… A memorable portrait of a tumultuous time period…”
— Heather Bell Adams, author of Maranatha Road and The Good Luck Stone
“Meagan Church paints a harrowing picture of one woman’s experience during the Baby Scoop Era. Timely and emotional, The Girls We Sent Away depicts both the devastating loss of faith in those who are supposed to protect us and the ability of the human heart to trust again.”
— Laura Barrow, author of Call the Canaries Home
“Equal parts heartbreaking and uplifting, The Girls We Sent Away is a must-read for fans of historical fiction… Well-crafted and researched, this timely, powerful novel is a tribute to many lives irrevocably changed by the tumultuous Baby Scoop Era.”
— Laura Jones, library director at Culver-Union Township Public Library and book blogger
“This sophomore novel will tear your heart apart…This book is full of secrets, heartbreaking moments, determination and so much more!! Loved it and highly recommend…”
— Annissa Armstrong, library clerk, bookstagrammer and moderator of the Friends & Fiction Official Book Club
THE LAST CAROLINA GIRL
Some folks will do anything to control the wild spirit of a Carolina girl…
Set in North Carolina in 1935, The Last Carolina Girl follows Leah—a girl growing up wild and free in her idyllic coastal setting when tragedy strikes. She is orphaned, sent away from the only home she has ever known, and is placed in a home with strangers whose upstanding facade hides dark secrets that threaten Leah’s future.
Can Leah, with the odds stacked against her, fight for the future she wants or will the prevailing voices of society win in the end?
Set against the very real backdrop of a recently formed state eugenics board, The Last Carolina Girl is a powerful and heart-wrenching story of fierce strength, forgotten history, autonomy, and the places and people we ultimately call home.
Now available in stores and online.
Praise for The Last Carolina Girl
“[A] dynamic and wrenching tale of family secrets and eugenics. Church effectively dramatizes historical injustice in this searing tale… This author is off to a strong start.”
“[A] stirring debut, … An affecting and excellent depiction of family corruption and lies, THE LAST CAROLINA GIRL challenges Leah to remember who she is, where she came from, and get where she wants to go–back home.”
–Shelf Awareness STARRED review
“[A] heart-wrenching and authentically rendered glimpse into the portal of a state’s secret dark culture, family ties, and the fierce strength of a young girl’s grit and resilience… Unforgettable, this is a powerful debut to savor.“
–Kim Michele Richardson, New York Times bestselling author of THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK
About the Author
Meagan Church is the author of The Last Carolina Girl and The Girls We Sent Away. She writes to tell grounded stories that explore the complexity of human nature. Her historical fiction chronicles the plight and fight of unheard voices of the past. After receiving a B.A. in English from Indiana University, Meagan built a career as a storyteller and freelance writer for brands, blogs and organizations. A Midwesterner by birth, she now lives in North Carolina with her high school sweetheart, three children and a plethora of pets.