Posts Tagged ‘adoption’

Choose Me – Kay Langdale

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Proofs on May 8th, 2013 by admin – 2 Comments

Choose Me

Published
09/05/2013

Publisher
Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

ISBN
9781444766820

Source - New Books Magazine

My Rating – 4.5 stars

Kay Langdale’s latest novel tackles the issue of adoption and, in particular, what the adoption process really means for the potential adoptee.  Nine year old Billy is wise beyond his years and he knows time is running out for him as far as getting the perfect adoptive parents is concerned.  His social worker, Miriam, decides to bend the rules a little and attempts the adoption equivalent of speed-dating, quickly selecting three possible families for Billy but in the rush Billy’s viewpoint seems to be overlooked.

Billy’s  matter-of-fact attitude is mirrored by the author’s sparse, objective prose which is free from embellishment and flowery descriptions and his tale is all the more poignant as a result.  Through Billy’s eyes we see that children can be extremely insightful and able to see past all the facades we adults create to hide the cracks.  Kay Langdale is equally insightful in her ability to capture the moods and motivations of the various characters involved from the overworked social worker to the enthusiastic would-be adoptive parents, digging that bit deeper to see beneath the facade.  A touching read which is sure to provoke lots of discussion at book group.

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The Adoption – Anne Berry

Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Proofs on January 28th, 2013 by admin – 2 Comments

The Adoption

Published
28/02/2013

Publisher
Ebury Press

ISBN
9780091947057

Source – Amazon Vine

My Rating – 4.5 stars

The Adoption is Anne Berry’s third novel but this is my first encounter with this writer. Having devoured this compelling read, I am keen to acquire her earlier novels.

The story is told from the viewpoints of three very different women. The first, Bethan, a teenage girl living on a farm in Wales during WWII, falls pregnant with the child of a German POW and is forced to give up her baby girl, Lucilla. Her baby is adopted by Harriet, an older, conservative woman who is disappointed when Lucilla doesn’t fulfil her ideal image of the perfect daughter. We also hear from Lucilla, now married with her own family but it is obvious that the mystery surrounding her real parents leaves an aching hole in her life.

Usually, with multiple narrators, I find myself more drawn to one of the characters but here, each character’s story drew me in equally. Anne Berry is very adept at weaving all the strands of the story, building up the background in such a way that you see the motivation of each character, the birth mother, the adoptive mother and the adoptee.

The female characters are particularly well drawn and their strength contrasts sharply with the more slimy male characters especially Lucilla’s odious, obsequious cousin, Frank and that supposed pillar of society, her father Merfyn. Somehow Lucilla manages to bounce back and forge her own way in life, on the surface a strong, independent woman.

Anne Berry eschews oversentimentality in this beautifully written novel about identity, family ties, motherhood and relationships. Highly recommended.

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