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 Mistress’s Daughter is the story of what happened when, thirty years later, her birth parents came looking for her.
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 families. Her birth mother, a complex and
lonely woman, never married or had another child, and she died of kidney
failure in 1998. Her birth father, who initially made overtures about
inviting her into his family, never did.
The story then 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, even 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. Download and start listening now!