I'M STILL ME by Betty Jean Lifton


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Lifton has written adult non-fiction about her own and other adoptees' searches for their biological parents, and this novel of a 16-year-old girl's quest for her roots is based on those experiences. However, the result is much like Lois Lowry's Find a Stranger Say Goodbye (1978). In both, the adoptive parents are loving, good parents; both searches are resolved rapidly; and both birth mothers (Lifton's phrase) turn out to be eminently acceptable and (especially in Lifton's version) accepting. Here Lori's search is prompted by a high school history assignment, and here too the dramatically and universally positive outcomes of her classmates facing the truth about their families seems exaggerated. The story is filled in with supportive friends, a problem younger brother (also adopted) who causes their parents much anguish, and a boyfriend, pretty much a cipher, with whom Loft commences a sexual relationship--distantly reported here. (""Chris and I were doing it now. I mean all the way."") However, none of these supporting players adds much dimension to the novel, which reads naturally enough but doesn't transcend the level of a contrived case study.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1981
Publisher: Knopf