LOST DAUGHTERS by Laurie Alberts


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Lies that preoccupy, obsess, and eventually distort inform Alberts’s (The Price of Land in Shelby, 1996, etc.) tale of a mother and her daughter. Allie, the week before the birthday of Lila, the infant she gave up for adoption two decades ago, is staying in a Buddhist center in New Mexico. She’s not far from Albuquerque, where Lila first entered the world, and she’s preparing an account of her life for this daughter, just in case Lila shows up looking for her mother when the adoption records are unsealed. As for Lila in actuality (her story is told alternately with her mother’s), she’s now a student in Boston and pregnant herself—although unsure of who the father is: it could be dependable Kevin, Harvard law student, or it could be a married professor with whom she had a brief affair. So, as Lila prepares for an abortion and a cross-country drive to Colorado, where her adoptive parents are living, she revisits her own personal history. Both mother and daughter, as it happens, have survived troubled childhoods. Allie’s Jewish family hoarded painful secrets: her grandfather committed suicide, her mother was frequently depressed, her father was often violent. In adolescence, she herself turned reclusive and anorexic. For her part, Lila always felt uncomfortably different from her adoptive parents; she was a military brat, on to of it, and the constant moving about only increased her sense of alienation. Her parents have been good to her, but she still finds the

Pub Date: March 19th, 1999
ISBN: 0-87451-898-9
Page count: 220pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1999


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