Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mother Country

I'm just about to start this new book and am really looking froward to it. It reminds me of a close friend who went in search of his biological father's roots. In the end he decided not to contact the family, it was enough to know he was walking the same streets his dad once had. The worst part was having discovered that his mom had deceived him all those years by covering up the truth.

This is a hugely moving and affecting literary memoir of adoption, a family mystery, and the need to belong. When Jeremy Harding was a child, his mother Maureen told him he was adopted. She described his natural parents as a Scandinavian sailor and a 'little Irish girl' who worked at Woolworth's. It was only later, as Harding set out to look for traces of his birth mother, that he began to understand who his adoptive mother really was - and the benign make-believe world she'd built for herself and her little boy. "Mother Country" evokes a magical childhood spent in transit between Notting Hill Gate and a decrepit houseboat on the banks of the Thames. It is a detective quest, as Harding searches through the public record for a clue about his natural mother, and a rich social history of a lost London from the 1950s. "Mother Country" is a powerful true story, full of thrilling revelations, comic confusion, and tender memories, about a man looking for the mother he'd never known, and finding out how little he'd understood about the one he'd grown up with.

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