Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Mistress's Daughter

I want to be very careful about how I review this book. Apparently A.M. Homes is a well-known American writer. I don’t know her work. Part of me wants to read it, and part of me doesn’t. It’s hard to explain, I guess. The Mistress’s Daughter is a memoir and, honestly, rather dry. Not even dry humor, which I love, just dry. I can’t say I loved her style or the story itself. Perhaps I would feel differently if I had read her previous work, if I did know her. But, while I admire her tenacity and desire to learn, to dig deeper, it just seemed so sad to me. And not a grief-like sadness, not a my-dog-just-died sadness, not the sadness that accompanies a tragedy ... just that slow, profound despondency of life.
I don’t think I loved this book.
However, I am glad that I read it. I probably won’t take much away from it, but while reading, I did explore some of my own feelings, and I suppose that is a good thing.
Again, I want to be careful how I say this. I believe that people who adopt children are the greatest people on earth! (This also goes for people who adopt pets and love the mixed up breeds as much as the purebreds.) I think it is far greater to reach out to a child who needs love and needs protection ... a child who doesn’t have a home and desperately deserves one.
Unfortunately, when a child grows up not knowing one or more of their parents, there are always questions deep inside. Even bigger questions than, “why?” and “who?” Questions about what makes me me. Especially if your only source of information is biased on some level. And while these children, may have questions, may be seeking a greater sense of self, may feel an emptiness or sadness somehow .... this certainly doesn’t mean that these children (and eventual adults) have ill feelings or regret or disconnect with the parents who did raise them.
It’s just never all that black and white. And sometimes we need to explore our feelings. And we should be allowed and encouraged to do so. And sometimes we don’t want to know the answers.
Sometimes we just need some time to think.
I don’t sincerely know what I am trying to say. Maybe read her book. She doesn’t really get into the complex, involved thoughts and mysteries ... but perhaps following her journey will help you along with yours.

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