Insightful, but a tad troubling

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Let me preface this by saying, first, I don't read a lot of memoirs. Second, I am not an adoptee, nor have I ever given up a kid for adoption, adopted a child, or been pregnant as a teenager. Reading this memoir was insightful into one person's experience as an adoptee, a pregnant teenager, and a woman who gave up her firstborn child. That being said, I don't believe it is an experience that is shared by all adoptees. It was intriguing to read the events as they transpired and lead her to surrender her child. The book is presented as a memoir of nature, nurture, and love, but I didn't see the connection. To me, it was more a story of the author's trauma over her surrender of her first child as well as her own adoption and disconnect with her adoptive parents.

The memoir is supposed to be about nature versus nurture and acceptance of self. Although the book does show the nature and nurture of Marylee, it is never outright explained or compared. As with the acceptance of self, it is only mentioned in a line or two at the very end of the book.

It was very hard to "like" Marylee. She seemed selfish and, although book smart, irresponsible. John also bothered me a bit. He came across as selfish as well, wanting to have sex with Marylee even though she said no the first time and later when she was pregnant, wanting to finish college first before marrying her. The lack of consent really bothered me. Following that, they both seemed obsessed with sex, even though they considered protection but were unable to get any. It still didn't stop them. The lack of consent did occur a second time, the last time they were together in her attic before she left for Phoenix, Arizona, pregnant with his child. Maybe it was just the way she portrayed him, even though she spoke of him fondly and as though she still loves him.

After reading this memoir, I honestly feel a bit discouraged pursuing adoption. Some of the research she presented did support her experience and trauma, explaining that all adoptees experience PTSD (The Primal Wound) at birth when they are taken from their birth mother. It doesn't exactly speak well for adoption.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.