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The Mistress's Daughter
The Mistress's Daughter
Author: A. M. Homes
An acclaimed novelist's riveting memoir about what it means to be adopted and how all of us construct our sense of self and family Before A.M. Homes was born, she was put up for adoption. Her birth mother was a twenty-two- year-old single woman who was having an affair with a much older married man with children of his own. The Mistre...  more » is the story of what happened when, thirty years later, her birth parents came looking for her. Homes, renowned for the psychological accuracy and emotional intensity of her storytelling, tells how her birth parents initially made contact with her and what happened afterward (her mother stalked her and appeared unannounced at a reading) and what she was able to reconstruct about the story of their lives and their families. Her birth mother, a complex and lonely woman, never married or had another child, and died of kidney failure in 1998; her birth father, who initially made overtures about inviting her into his family, never did. Then the story jumps forward several years to when Homes opens the boxes of her mother's memorabilia. She had hoped to find her mother in those boxes, to know her secrets, but no relief came. She became increasingly obsessed with finding out as much as she could about all four parents and their families, hiring researchers and spending hours poring through newspaper morgues, municipal archives and genealogical Web sites. This brave, daring, and funny book is a story about what it means to be adopted, but it is also about identity and how all of us define our sense of self and family.
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ISBN-13: 9780143113317
ISBN-10: 0143113313
Publication Date: 3/25/2008
Pages: 256
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.

3.1 stars, based on 72 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 234 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I was disappointed in the ending of the book. It moved along very fast in the beginning as the author delved into her past and described her biological parents. Towards the end one entire chapter is devoted to deposition type questions without answers. I'm not sure the story is completed yet in my mind.
reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 80 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I loved the writing style and the story was engaging. The ending does feel open and unfinished, but I found that to be more true and more authentic than most autobiographies. Most of the memoir-type books try to tie everything into a nice fluffy bow at the end, but real life isn't like that, so I found the ending to this book to be fitting.
reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
In my opinion, the book was a little disappointing, because I was probably expecting something different. It would appear that real life never sounds quite as exciting as fiction (even if fiction is usually based on real life!). However, this book meandered quite too much for my taste, and I tired of the self-pity, as, after all, the author did grow up in a loving family environment.
reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
As an adult adoptee this book really hit home. Though my circumstances were different from the author's, I understood her feelings. She tells her story in a compelling, easy to read, hard to put down way. I read the whole thing on the plane.
This is an important book for adult adoptees.
reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I agree with the other reviews......I enjoyed most of this book. It was interesting to read about the author getting to know her birth parents and circumstances of her conception. However, when the athor decides to research her family tree things get a little drawn out and boring. I still enjoyed the book and it was a quick, little read.
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reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 61 more book reviews
This book surprised me. I knew it was about adoption, but I was also hoping it was about her writing life. Since I am unfamiliar with adoption I didn't expect this book to interest me as much. But, to my surprise, the journey of finding her biological parents was totally strange, heartfelt and intriguing.
reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 77 more book reviews
An interesting, thought provoking book. A detailed review of what it's like to be adopted, to find your birth parents, and deal with their eccentricities.
reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 50 more book reviews
I just couldn't get into this book and I tried several times. The author seemed a bit bitter and angry about her past...or at least that was my take on it. I quit trying to read when I got to the genealogy.