Childless Mother is a journey through time

Childless Mother explores a family saga of secrets and shame in a pre-Choice era in which pregnant teens were banished to “Homes for Unwed Mothers” and their babies given up for adoption. Tracy Mayo was one of those girls.


“Mayo’s word pictures are vivid. She paints scenes in brilliant technicolor. Her characters leap off the page to become people we know intimately. We don’t just read about Tracy’s life. We live it.”

“Childless Mother’ is just a fantastic read with beautiful writing from Tracy Mayo.”

About The book

1970, pre-Choice America. After their eighth move in her thirteen short years, the lonely only child of a high-ranking naval officer and a socially ambitious mother, Tracy Mayo longed for a normal adolescence – to have friends, to feel rooted. What she got was a pregnancy at fourteen and exile to a maternity home. There, she bore not only a child but also the weight of the culture’s shame. She was required to surrender her baby boy at birth and pretend it never happened. Twenty-two years later, her longing undiminished, Tracy set out to find him – and perhaps, through her search, to reclaim her self. Are we moving back to a world where women have no agency, stripped of control of their bodies and their futures? More than fifty years after one frightened, grief-stricken young mother was ordered to forget, Tracy’s story is even more important to remember.