Baby (MacLachlan novel)
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Baby is a 1995 novel by Patricia MacLachlan. It explores the themes of family and abandonment while offering a touching novel about a family who discovers a baby and has to care for it. With the baby, is a short note, explaining why the baby was left, and with brief information about her.
wIt was about Twelve-year-old Larkin lives with her mom and dad on an island year round. The story opens at the end of summer, as the last summer ferry carries the tourists away until the next summer. One little island “guest” is left behind at Larkin’s home. An almost year old baby, Sophie, has been left by her mother with a note attached telling the family that “I will come back for her one day.” Sophie becomes the catalyst which brings about healing in Larkin’s family. As the family takes in Sophie, they uncover the pain surrounding the loss of Larkin’s newborn brother, “Baby,” six months prior. Larkin’s parents never talk about him, never named him, and through their silence have isolated each other from themselves and from their daughter. The story unfolds beautifully as Larkin’s family cycles through fear of love, love for Sophie, then once again has to face loss again, when Sophie’s mother returns in the spring to claim her. During the story, Larkin discovers poetry and how words are “wondrous” and powerful, and through this power Larkin and her family find their way back from loss and pain. speaks powerfully to foster care, too. Larkin’s grandmother, with foresight, has the following conversation with Larkin: “This is not meant to be easy,” she said, “It is a very important thing to do, for Sophie and especially for your mother and father. But it will not be easy. Do you understand?” I understood. I did. I knew that what she meant was what Papa had said. Sophie was not ours. Someday she would go away. Another thing to miss. “Why is it important?” I asked her… “It is important, Larkin, because we are giving Sophie something to take away with her when she goes.” “What?” asked Lalo [Larkin's friend]. “What will she take with her?” “Us,” said Byrd firmly. “And what will we have when she’s gone?” I asked . Twelve years later,Sophie comes to visit the island, because Byrd had died. Larkin's younger brother was named William.
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