The Adoption Hardback
by Anne Berry
'I was fourteen when my Mother said that she needed to speak to me...And then she told me - just like that.
I was adopted. And what I felt was not shock or grief but the most enormous sense of relief'.
Growing up as the only child of strict, God-fearing parents, Lucilla has always felt her difference.
But it is not till adulthood that she discovers the real reasons behind her adopted mother's often times violent indifference.
As for Harriet, she would have readily sent her longed for baby back if she could, having discovered she falls all too short of her expectations. And then there is Bethan, a young girl in 1940s Wales, whose only mistake is falling in love with the wrong man...
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Ebury Publishing
- Publication Date: 21/06/2012
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780091949273
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by kiwifortyniner
This the moving story of an adoption told from three perspectives - that of the birth mother, the family that adopted the child and the adopted child herself. Bethan , the daughter of strict Welsh parents, has a child to a German soldier working on their farm in the years after the war has ended. Although she really loves this soldier there is no way her parents would let her keep the child and stay with this man so the child is adopted out. Bethan never forgets this child although she later marries and has another child but then the question is - if years later she was given a chance to reconnect with that child what would she do. The child, christened Lucilla, became part of a God fearing family, a family she always felt she never belonged in. Her upbringing was harsh and she knew indifference not love. She marries happily and has children of her own, but once she finds out she is adopted her greatest wish is to reconnect with her birth mother.. As for the adoptee mother herself the child never lived up to her expectations and she would no doubt have been happy to give her back if she could or swap her for another. I really enjoyed this book, and was happy with how it ended. I felt empathy with the character of Lucilla, and great sadness for the life that she lived iwth the adoptive parents. This is well worth a read and I will look out for other books by this author.
Review by Karen-uk
This is a story narrated by three women – Bethan, a teenage girl from Wales who in the 1940’s brought shame on her family by falling pregnant after falling in love with a German prisoner of war whilst he was working on her parent’s farm. Harriet, who with her Welsh husband Merfyn adopts a baby from the Church Adoption Society. They are both members of the Temperance Society and Harriet has an image of how the perfect child should behave – she will be very disappointed.And finally Lucilla - the baby adopted by Harriet and Merfyn. Lucilla grows up to be a troubled child and has a difficult childhood -she feels at odds with her parents and then one day the truth is finally revealed to her.This was an extremely well written and emotional book. Three generations of women – all hostage to society’s views of what is acceptable behaviour and the laws of the time. Thankfully times have changed and society generally is now far more tolerant. The characters were so believable, my heart broke sometimes for Lucilla and the emotional cruelty and violent outbursts she suffered at the hands of her adoptive mother. The story takes us from Lucilla’s childhood and we are brought up to date with Lucilla’s current life with her own children and family.The characters were so well written so as to provoke a reaction with the reader. There were slimy, odious characters who were easy to dislike and others that you could feel empathy for. Although all three women feature in the narrative, the story is mainly about Lucilla but I would have liked to have known more about Bethan’s life after the adoption. She was an interesting character who life was changed forever by the baby she had to give up.A recommended read.