PW #115: Adult Women's Fiction: THE ONES WE CHOOSE


Mentor: Karma Brown/Susan Bishop Crispell
Mentee: Julie Clark
Category/Genre: Adult / WF
Word Count: 94,000


When geneticist Paige Robson decided to use an anonymous sperm donor, she believed she was protecting her child from the abandonment she faced with her own father. But when her son’s donor suddenly shows up in their life, she must choose between giving her son the truth he craves and losing the people she loves most because of it.


If loneliness were a color, it would be the deep purple of my eight-year-old’s shirt as he makes solitary laps around the school track. From the quiet of my car, before opening the door and letting the playground sounds crash over me, I watch him. Wondering how I can fix this, or if my chance of doing that passed long ago.

With an ache of worry that seems to always chase me, I grab my purse and slam the car door shut, hurrying toward the picnic tables where other students are bent over board games.

“Hey Dr. Robson,” the woman in charge of the after-school program says, offering the sign-out book with a smile. It’s the third week of school and I should remember her name by now, but my brain is stuck in a three-word loop: Miles is lonely.

“Please, call me Paige.” I sign Miles out and she flips the book closed, looking toward the track. My eyes follow. Miles rounds the far corner, no bigger than a matchstick.

“We set up some games, hoping he’d be interested,” she says. “He was very sweet, explaining the periodic table as he played chess. But when the game was over, that was it for him.”

I try again to remember her name, this woman who cares enough about my child to help him make friends, to settle him into his new school. “Thanks for trying,” I say.


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