A complicated but vividly portrayed search for identity.

SEARCHING FOR MOM

A woman finds God and learns forgiveness as she confronts her contentious relationship with her adoptive mother in this memoir.

As she approached her 40th birthday, publicist and event planner Easterly (Lights, Camera, Action, 2007) was facing the imminent death of her mother. For many years, the author had been trying to come to terms with her feelings of anger toward her parent, and over the past two, their relationship had become especially difficult. Now, she was determined to resolve her conflicting emotions and help her mom negotiate a peaceful, loving passage to the next world. The author was adopted when she was just two days old—“a ‘grey-market adoption’ with shady circumstances,” she writes—and although she knew of her adopted status, she and her mother almost never discussed it. Her mom relied on the conventions of the day, telling her simply that she was specially “chosen.” “But ‘chosen’ was nowhere near what I felt inside,” Easterly writes. “Inside, I felt abandoned, discarded, unimportant.” She did well in school, but was timid and shy, with numerous fears (including a terror of thunderstorms) that her mother would shrug off with humor. As an adult, Easterly began reading the works of Nancy Newton Verrier, “an adoptive mother and psychotherapist focused on separation and loss in adoption.” She was especially taken with Verrier’s theory of the “Primal Wound,” described by that author as “the death of the baby soul….the overall feeling is a betrayal of the universe, of God, of the cosmos, of the infinite being.” Readers may or may not accept the theory that a 2-day-old infant experiences psychological trauma at the time of adoption. However, Easterly’s memoir contains a great deal of valuable information that may be helpful to adoptive parents, and to adoptees who feel a loss of biological connection. Some readers may find that the later sections, in which Easterly shares her two-way conversations with God, stretch credulity, but devoutly religious ones will likely take comfort in her spiritual account.

A complicated but vividly portrayed search for identity.

Pub Date: Nov. 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-578-60195-3

Page Count: 319

Publisher: Heart Voices

Review Posted Online: Dec. 20, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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