First mother, teenage Claire Jordan, enters college in 1965. Intending to be Nebraska's Ideal Coed, she discovers she's pregnant just weeks into her freshman year. Expelled from school and disowned by her family, Claire turns to Child Horizons adoption agency. They'll help her and the baby only if she agrees to grant them absolute custody of the child. After years of grief, Claire decides to pursue an illegal search and reunion in an attempt to heal herself and her firstborn from the trauma of the coerced adoption.
Adoptive mother, Jo Tischler, is a dedicated teacher in her rural community. She and her loving husband, Will, tried to have their own children for a decade. When fertility experts suggest adoption, they apply with Child Horizons. The agency can make Jo's dream of motherhood come true, but only if she proves herself a dedicated mother by providing evidence of retiring from teaching.
Adoptee, Jules Fae, has no right to her original birth certificate, knowledge of her birth parents, or natural siblings. Without access to her own ethnic and religious background, she assumes her adopted family traditions and develops a deep bond with her adopted brother, Karl. Jules grows to discover the circumstances of her conception are a state secret, the conditions of her birth a rare miracle, and the color of her eyes is not the only trait that runs in the family.
Jules Fae is a story of longing, perseverance, and love. A story of adoption and reunion, the beautiful novel traces how we survive the deepest cuts and what it means to make a family. Terrie Novak, with her insightful and intimate voice, reminds us that no feeling is final, and that the human heart is a powerful force for strength, resilience and generosity. She shows us that when we expand our definitions of family, everyone is uplifted.
- Natalie Serber, author of Shout Her Lovely Name