GIVING AWAY SIMONE by Jan L. Waldron

GIVING AWAY SIMONE

A Memoir of Daughters, Mothers, Adoption, and Reunion
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A penetrating first-person account of a mother-daughter reunion, by freelance writer and editor Waldron. At age 17, with the '60s in full swing and faced with a deteriorating family life, Jan Waldron became pregnant. Herself the child of an adoptee, she reluctantly relinquished her biracial infant, Simone, for adoption. When Simone, renamed Rebecca, was 11, her adoptive parents suggested a meeting between birthmother and child. The outcome of this reunion between Waldron, by then a single mother of two sons, and Rebecca is the subject of this memoir. Waldron not only chronicles the anguished journey that she and her daughter traversed from alienation to accommodation and eventually to a deeper connection, but she also touches on issues that are rarely confronted by birthmothers, adoptive parents, their children, and society at large. Rebecca had to come to terms with her biological mother, so different from the romanticized vision of her that she had cultivated. Waldron learned to forgive herself for giving up her daughter while establishing bounds for the complex relationship between them. ``We were trying to come up with answers, but we barely knew the question, so we fudged, fibbed, and tested,'' writes Waldron. While she succeeds in giving the reader intimate glimpses into her and her daughter's experiences, documented in their correspondences (``Do you want me to wish that you kept me?'' Rebecca asks; Jan writes, ``Your parents and I love our children differently''), Waldron occasionally lapses into facile generalizations. She insists, for example, that all adopted children lag emotionally behind their peers. Unexplored here is the impact of race upon Rebecca, who grows up biracial in a predominantly white society. Still, Waldron's painful honesty and absorbing insights make this book valuable reading.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8129-2400-2
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Times/Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1994




SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

IndieALWAYS YOURS by C.F. Stice
by C.F. Stice
NonfictionPOSTCARDS FROM COOKIE by Caroline Clarke
by Caroline Clarke