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Extended Audio Sample The Mistresss Daughter: A Memoir Audiobook, by A. M. Homes Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.84 out of 52.84 out of 52.84 out of 52.84 out of 52.84 out of 5 2.84 (19 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: A. M. Homes Narrator: Scott Brick, Jane Adams Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781429586726
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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.

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 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.                                          

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Poole | 2/20/2014

    " This book is about one woman's struggle to find herself. She was adopted as a baby and grew up with a family that loved her, but she never quite felt like she belonged. At the age of 30 her biological mother comes back into her life. Soon after she finds her father. Things don't go as well as one might hope. The beginning was great. Couldn't put it down. The second half of the book kind of lost me. The author goes on a hunt to find past relatives as her need to discover who she is continues to grow. The book picks up again at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simay | 1/31/2014

    " A.M. Homes is one of my favorites, and this book was a great glimpse into her looking for where she's come from. Full review soon. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/24/2014

    " thank goodness it took me less than 1 night to read this book ... anymore time and I would have been mad at the wasted time "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marion | 1/20/2014

    " I found the first part of this book very challenging to read. A.M. Homes's description of always feeling like she didn't belong and didn't know her identity (due to her adoption) was very powerful - and made me very sad. I learned a lot from her book and her story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Moira Russell | 1/10/2014

    " Gripping, but goes by way too fast -- definitely one of those books that began as a New Yorker article (the author admits it in the text) and was fleshed out into a very small book. It's weird to witness this kind of reversal when the same magazine was known for publishing entire books -- Hiroshima, In Cold Blood, Silent Spring -- that went on to become classics. I'm not sure when this trend started of publishing New Yorker articles with probably some few dozen pages of outtakes that were edited out of the magazine version as 'books,' but it's annoying. If the author had worked on this book a few more years and doubled or even tripled its length, given it some weight and heft, it could have been interesting, but I guess that's not how the publishing industry works anymore. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Louise | 1/8/2014

    " I had to struggle to finish this book. The language is boring, inert sentence styling, paragraphs that fail to propel the story forward, page after page of dialogue. The premise of the story is creepy, being stalked by ones birth parents late in life, and I get how she would be attracted to them like a moth to a flame. But there's no real discovery in this memoir, and the writer is never changed by her experience with them. That was the hardest part for me. Certainly, I felt bad for her, and perhaps Homes has been tramatized severly by their neglect and for that reason she can't feel or can't sort out of the complex feelings she has for them exactly how she does feel. But even that could have been a more interesting perspective had a more gifted memoirist written this life story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brynn | 1/7/2014

    " Just an okay read. An interesting topic to dive into your history and go searching for your past. But I'd rather go read about my own ancestors rather than the authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 1/1/2014

    " Barely put it down, loved it! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kerry | 1/1/2014

    " I guess I really just don't care for A.M. Homes books...my mistake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julz | 9/24/2013

    " I found this book interesting, because unlike most adoption reunion tomes, it focused on an adoptee being found by a biological parent. While the author's story is far more dramatic and negative than mine, it came closer than most of what I've read to reflecting the complex reality I've experienced. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anastasia | 8/2/2013

    " I was fascinated with this story-- I felt guilty, as though I was secretly reading her diary. What a life this woman has had. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan Shaughnessy | 7/14/2013

    " Heartbreaking and brutal. Fascinating. Sometimes a little boring but for the most part a really intimate tale of a woman's introduction to her birth parents. Her descriptions of what being adopted felt like to her are beautiful and sad. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 7/8/2013

    " It was interesting for about half of the time, but I started to get bored with all the researching of the family trees. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 5/21/2010

    " I couldn't put this book down, I wanted to find out what happens to A.M. (particularly in the first part of the book.). It really slows down in the end. Interesting none the less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancyjames | 1/1/2010

    " Good. Short read. Thought alot about my family "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ruth Hanno | 12/21/2009

    " Kind of self-pitying memoir by an adopted woman. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tannya | 3/27/2009

    " Hmmmm I typically am a good review giver. 2 stars is appropriate for this book by A.M. Homes. It was just OK. I had a hard time getting through it. It was slow, but a decent story. It is a story of an adopted girl, who as a woman tries to find out who she is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Topmar | 6/1/2007

    " Autobiographical story -- author A.M. Homes finally meets her birth mother, then her birth father. Bottom line: she's darn lucky neither of them raised her. A poignant revelation of life and its complications. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Petra X | 4/26/2007

    " Memoir of when her adoptive mother traced her and then how she traced her father. Both parents were extremely eccentric and thereofre it made for an Interesting perspective on the more usual adoption story of child tracing birth mother. "

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About the Author

A. M. Homes is the author of the memoir The Mistress’s Daughter and the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music for Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the story collections The Safety of Objects and Things You Should Know. She lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Scott Brick, actor, narrator, and writer, attended UCLA and spent ten years in a traveling Shakespeare company. Passionate about the spoken word, he has narrated a wide variety of audiobooks, from thrillers and science fiction to classics and nonfiction. He has recorded more than eight hundred audiobooks and won over fifty AudioFile Earphones Awards and several of the prestigious Audie Awards. He was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine and the Voice of Choice for 2016 by Booklist magazine.