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ROCK NEEDS RIVER

A MEMOIR ABOUT A VERY OPEN ADOPTION

An expressive and love-filled tale of a unique adoption scenario.

A memoir from a woman who adopted a baby girl and then supported the birth parents when they became homeless.

In her early 30s, McGrady pregnant and fell in love with the idea of being a mother, but then miscarried. Suddenly, the need for a child was foremost in her mind, but her body wouldn’t cooperate and bring a pregnancy to term. So the author and her partner, Peter, turned to adoption as an alternative. After two years of waiting, a baby girl, Grace, arrived. McGrady thought she had it all—house, husband, and child—and then it began to fall apart. Peter’s drinking led to divorce, but they continued to co-parent Grace. Remarkably, when Grace’s biological parents became homeless, the author took them in. Though they only planned to stay a few nights, they lived with her for a month before moving out, only to come back when they had nowhere else to turn. Amid the tumult, McGrady wondered about the psychological effects for Grace—e.g., would she still call McGrady “mom” when her biological mother was living in the house with them? In this open, honest tale, the author shares the intimate thoughts and feelings that led to her decision to adopt, to leave Peter, and to let Grace’s parents into their lives. The conversational tone makes the reader feel like a trusted friend as the author meanders through her thoughts on motherhood and the memories of her parents and childhood and of the men she was involved with prior to Peter. She offers interesting insight into the lives of those who adopt and those who give up a child for adoption, as well as the personal angst that goes along with such a decision.

An expressive and love-filled tale of a unique adoption scenario.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5039-0369-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Little A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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INTO THE WILD

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor...

The excruciating story of a young man on a quest for knowledge and experience, a search that eventually cooked his goose, told with the flair of a seasoned investigative reporter by Outside magazine contributing editor Krakauer (Eiger Dreams, 1990). 

Chris McCandless loved the road, the unadorned life, the Tolstoyan call to asceticism. After graduating college, he took off on another of his long destinationless journeys, this time cutting all contact with his family and changing his name to Alex Supertramp. He was a gent of strong opinions, and he shared them with those he met: "You must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life''; "be nomadic.'' Ultimately, in 1992, his terms got him into mortal trouble when he ran up against something—the Alaskan wild—that didn't give a hoot about Supertramp's worldview; his decomposed corpse was found 16 weeks after he entered the bush. Many people felt McCandless was just a hubris-laden jerk with a death wish (he had discarded his map before going into the wild and brought no food but a bag of rice). Krakauer thought not. Admitting an interest that bordered on obsession, he dug deep into McCandless's life. He found a willful, reckless, moody boyhood; an ugly little secret that sundered the relationship between father and son; a moral absolutism that agitated the young man's soul and drove him to extremes; but he was no more a nutcase than other pilgrims. Writing in supple, electric prose, Krakauer tries to make sense of McCandless (while scrupulously avoiding off-the-rack psychoanalysis): his risky behavior and the rites associated with it, his asceticism, his love of wide open spaces, the flights of his soul.

A wonderful page-turner written with humility, immediacy, and great style. Nothing came cheap and easy to McCandless, nor will it to readers of Krakauer's narrative. (4 maps) (First printing of 35,000; author tour)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-42850-X

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Villard

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1995

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