JESSICA LOST by Bunny Crumpacker


A Story of Birth, Adoption, and the Meaning of Motherhood
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A touching joint memoir by a birth mother and her adopted daughter about their lives apart and the close bond they shared until Crumpacker's recent death.

Copywriter Picariello writes about how she succeeded in tracking down her birth mother in 1996 after a two-year search. As early as she can remember, she knew she had been “chosen” by her adoptive parents, and she was told how her birth parents had married during the Korean War after knowing each other for only one month and separated shortly thereafter. Her birth mother couldn't manage alone and did what seemed best for the baby by finding her loving adoptive parents. Raised by a controlling mother, she was socially maladjusted—as a child she was a bookish loner, and as a teenager she experimented with drugs and sexual liberation. Married at 19 to a lawyer 10 years her senior, her life became more stable, although initially she felt overwhelmed by the demands of motherhood. Crumpacker (How to Slice an Onion: Cooking Basics and Beyond, 2009) describes her family background, in many ways similar to that of her daughter. Both of their mothers displaced their own insecurities onto their daughters. Crumpacker writes that her mother found her “different—and difficult. She felt it was her responsibility to mold me.” Her failed marriage, also at the age of 19, was an attempt to establish her independence from her mother. The circumstances of her marriage were more complicated than the story that Picariello was told, but essentially similar. She, too, had attempted to find her daughter—unsuccessfully. When they finally met, they found a startling affinity and were drawn to each other immediately.

An absorbing story about adoption and much more.


Pub Date: May 3rd, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4027-7570-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Union Square/Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2011


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