The Mistress's Daughter by A.M. Homes

The Mistress’s Daughter is a memoir of author A.M. Homes’ journey in discovering her roots. She provides great insight into her life as an adoptee and the experiences of reuniting with her biological parents. I was completely engrossed in the story of her reunion with her birth parents which is as riveting (and sometimes as emotionally and factually confusing) as I would imagine the experience itself would be. This book was written in such an honest, straightforward way.

Here are some quotes that I can say really pulled at the heartstrings:

"---I am not my adopted mother's child, I am not Ellen's child. I am an amalgam. I will always be something glued together, something slightly broken. It is not something I might recover from but something I must accept, to live with---with compassion."

"To be adopted is to be adapted, to be amputated and sewn back together again. Whether or not you regain full function, there will always be scar tissue."

"I have a great fear of attachment and an equally constant fear of loss---"

"Did I choose to be found? No. Do I regret it? No. I couldn't not know."

Although the book started out strong and interesting, mostly dealing with her finding her biological parents are and her dealings with them, the middle of the book made me lose interest. The second half of the story dealt with her search involving her lineage and just felt like a never ending discussion of genealogy.

I think, to a reader who is unfamiliar with adoption - this book may not make too much sense for them. But I loved the writing so much. A.M. Homes has a wonderfully unique narrative style that pulls you in and keeps you there. This novel is pretty universal in the sense that it asks questions that all of us do. Where do we come from? Why are we here? What are our connections to the past and history and family?

All in all, if you’re interested in adoption, genealogy or A.M. Homes, this is definitely a book for you.


Beth F said...

Interesting review. I think it wouldn't be for me but the writing style is worth the look.

ANovelMenagerie said...

My best friend was adopted and I helped her find her birth mother. It's another dynamic all in itself.


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