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What happens when the girl-who-has-it-all learns that love is conditional and her future may not be hers for the choosing?

It’s the 1960s in North Carolina and Lorraine Delford has it all – an upstanding family, a perfect boyfriend, and an idyllic home complete with a white picket fence. Yet every time she looks through her father’s telescope, she dreams of leaving it all behind to go to space. It’s ambitious, but Lorraine has always been exceptional.

But when this darling girl-next-door gets pregnant, she’s forced to learn firsthand the realities that keep women grounded.

To hide their daughter’s secret shame, the Delfords send Lorraine to a maternity home for wayward girls. But this is no safe haven – it’s a house with dark secrets and suffocating rules. And as Lorraine begins to piece together a new vision for her life, she must decide if she has the power to fight for the future she wants or if she must submit to the rules of a society she once admired.

Powerful and affecting, The Girls We Sent Away is a timely novel set during the intersection of the Baby Scoop Era and Space Race that explores autonomy, belonging, and a quest for agency when the illusions of life-as-you-know-it fall away.

Watch Meagan Church read the prologue of The Girls We Sent Away.

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Pre-Order Before March 5

Pre-order from one of the four independent bookstores below and receive a signed bookplate, sticker, bookmark, author letter, and iron-on patch with the purchase of The Girls We Sent Away.

The patch is the perfect way to customize your favorite book tote. We created it because the main character dreams of being an astronaut, and since every real-life NASA space mission has had its logo embroidered onto a patch and sewn into the space suits, it seemed like the perfect pre-order gift. We do have limited supply, so preorder now from one of these four stores:


“Church’s story gets deep inside Lorraine’s head with tenderness and compassion… This is a heartbreaking tale of prejudice, shame and secret-keeping within families, and a sincere and moving account of one teenager’s personal grief and inner strength…” — Historical Novel Society

“In this engaging, shocking, heart-wrenching story, readers are pulled along with Lorraine through the ups and downs of her pregnancy, optimistic for her future but saddened by its likely outcome. Fans of Church’s The Last Carolina Girl will be clamoring to read this one.” — Library Journal

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. Even as others try to direct the course of Lorraine’s future, she is determined to wrest back what control she can. A memorable portrait of a tumultuous time period, I highly recommend The Girls We Sent Away for fans of historical fiction.”
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