Our instinctual reaction to parents who leave their children is one of suspicion. ‘Child abandonment’ elicits such images as a swaddled foundling in the woods, a parent in a train station losing hold of her child’s hand and disappearing into the crowd, or an anonymous baby hatch in a hospital. The presumption is that a mother (fathers are usually spared this judgement) abandons her child because of some shortcoming: poverty, selfishness, capriciousness. Eleanor Limprecht was prompted to write this novel by a newspaper headline at the time of the birth of her first child when a baby was abandoned at Dandenong Hospital. It asked, ‘How Could She?’
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