Book Review: “The Mistress’s Daughter.”

Title: The Mistress’s Daughter


Author: A.M Homes

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: The Penguin Group
Publication date: 2007
Number of Pages: 238

Amazon Plot Synopsis: “the acclaimed writer A. M. Homes was given up for adoption before she was born. Her biological mother was a twenty-two-year-old single woman who was having an affair with a much older married man with a family of his own. The Mistress’s Daughter is the ruthlessly honest account of what happened when, thirty years later, her birth parents came looking for her. Homes relates how they initially made contact and what happened afterwards, and digs through the family history of both sets of her parents in a twenty-first-century electronic search for self.”

Why did I read the book: I found this book in my apartment buildings book exchange shelf.

Review: This was the first book by Homes that I’ve read. I was impressed by the authors insight and her fine wordsmanship. She clearly is a talented writer. I was very impressed with her honesty in her writing, she takes a close look at her own complicated and difficult journey with two sets of parents.

I think the reason I connected to this book is because I myself am adopted. One thing I related to was the decision the author had to make in letting go of her fantasy she had made up in her head all these years about her mother. She says, ” In my dreams, my birth mother is a goddess, the queen of queens, the CEO, the CFO, and the COO. Movie-star beautiful, incredibly competent, she can take care of anyone and anything.” I think often times in not knowing one’s birth family you can often fall into the trap of making up something in your head. Although the first part of book was very intriguing the middle of the book made me lose interest. The second part of the book focused a lot of genealogy and it felt as though it dragged on a little long.

I don’t agree with the author’s views on adoption or resonate with her deep need for a blood connection to someone. I think adoption is a beautiful thing and my views on it are much more positive than the authors. I think this book is a very fascinating and quick read. If you’re interested in adoption or genealogies this would be a good book to pick up.

Reading Next: Looking for Alaska by John Green


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