2010: 81.  The Mistress's Daughter 

"I remember their insistence that I come into the living room and sit down and how the dark room seemed suddenly threatening, how I stood in the kitchen doorway holding a jelly doughnut and how I never eat jelly doughnuts."

The Mistress’s Daughter, A.M. Holmes

        A.M. Holmes wrote The End of Alice, a book that I found to be absolutely vile - a book I hated so much that I actually threw it away (possibly I gave it to a book drive, but the point is, I did not want that book in my house).  So, why did I pick up her memoir of being adopted, and getting in touch with her biological parents? No idea - I think I’d read a positive review, and I like to read memoirs of messed up families.  Surprisingly, I really enjoyed her memoir.*  It tells of her being contacted by her birth mother - who is a total mess, and then meeting her birth father, who isn’t much better, and the complicated relationship she has with both.  The story isn’t that unusual, I don’t think - a lot of adoptees who find their birth parents have fraught relationships with them, but Holmes handles the material with grace and wit (even when dealing with less than graceful behavior).  Very interesting stuff, and good lord, it does not reflect well on her birth father (the mother is dead - and while she is a mess, the father is portrayed as an asshole of the first water).  Very interesting read, if you like that sort of thing (and who doesn’t like to read about other people’s messed up lives?).

Categories:  Library Book, Non-Fiction


*Or maybe not - the fact that I had such a visceral reaction to her novel suggests that she has skill as a writer, though who on earth would want to write a detailed novel about a pedophile? 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017