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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.
ISBN-13: 9780670038381
ISBN-10: 0670038385
Publication Date: 4/5/2007
Pages: 240
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 36 ratings
Publisher: Viking Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

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.
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nursenell avatar reviewed The Mistress's Daughter on + 3 more book reviews
I read a lot of adoption reunion stories. This one was interesting as it was told by an adult adoptee who did not initiate a search. She wasn't really looking for a relationship with her birth parents. So it was different from previous books I'd read on the topic. It was a good read.


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