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 »ss's Daughter 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.« less
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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.
I really love A. M. Homes, particularly the spectacularly twisted "The End of Alice." So I was a little disappointed in this memoir in which she relates the discovery of her biological parents (she was an adopted child)and her subsequent delving into her roots, both biological and adoptive. I found it to be interesting though somewhat lackluster. I expected more from her.
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.
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.