What happens when two sisters who were torn apart when their young mother abandoned them—and grew up in tragically different circumstances—reunite thirty-five years later to find her? For readers who love Jodi Picoult, acclaimed author Amy Hatvany fearlessly explores complex family issues in her gripping, provocative new novel.
Natalie Clark knew never to ask her sensitive adoptive mother questions about her past. She doesn’t even know her birth mother’s name—only that the young woman signed parental rights over to the state when Natalie was a baby. Now Natalie’s own daughter must complete a family tree project for school, and Natalie is determined to unearth the truth about her roots.
Brooke Walker doesn’t have a family. At least, that’s what she tells herself after being separated from her mother and her little sister at age four. Having grown up in a state facility and countless foster homes, Brooke survives the only way she knows how, by relying on herself. So when she discovers she’s pregnant, Brooke faces a heart-wrenching decision: give up her baby or raise the child completely on her own. Scared and confused, she feels lost until a surprise encounter gives her hope for the future.
How do our early experiences—the subtle and the traumatic—define us as adults? How do we build relationships when we’ve been deprived of real connection? Critically acclaimed author Amy Hatvany considers controversial and complicated questions about childhood through the lens of her finely crafted characters in this astute novel about mending wounds by diving into the truth of what first tore us apart.
5 STAR Review by Book Enthusiast Promotions’s Guest Melody!
Ms. Hatvany brings us the emotional tale – of a young mother – Jennifer who is homeless and raising two young girls – Brooke (4) and Natelie (6 months). In a desperate move to feed her babies she leaves the girls in the car and atttempts to shoplift food and diapers. She gets caught and is convicted of theft and child endangerment. Her girls are placed in the care of the state. When she is released, another mistake is made and she agrees with the social worker to give up custody in the hopes the girls will find a happy, stable, loving, home.
Natelie, is blessed and finds a happy healthy home, she didn’t know she was adopted until she was 10 and her parent’s have always been guarded regarding her adoption. When her daughter has a family tree assignment in school, she decides to see if she can find her birth mother. When she tells her parent’s she is stunned to find out that she has a sister.
Brooke, wasn’t so lucky – she was a little hellion and never found a happy home. She was in and out of foster homes and then spent the last 4 year in the system at a youth home. When she aged out she moved on with her life – she doesn’t have much but she has a half decent job, a roof over her head, and finds herself pregnant.
The story is told in each main characters POV. I have to say I was caught more then once crying, I cried for Jennifer, making the what must have been a heart wrenching decision and finding a way to move on with her life without the girls. I cried for Natelie, because everyone wants to know where they came from. I mostly cried for Brooke and her lost soul. Amy writing is gut wrenching and compelling. I had to stop several times and call my adult children to ensure they knew that they were loved. Adoption has always been an open subject with them. (both of them were blessed with Angels that trusted us to love them).
If you are in the mood with a book that will make you feel, make you think, and make you want to hold you children a little tighter this one is definitely worth it. Keep the tissues handy!
The literary gods took kindly to her aspirations and THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU was published in 2000 by Bantam Doubleday. THE LANGUAGE OF SISTERS was picked up by NAL in 2002. (Both titles published under “Yurk.”)
Amy spends most of her time today with her second and final husband, Stephan. (Seriously, if this one doesn’t work out, she’s done.) She stays busy with her two children, Scarlett and Miles, and her “bonus child,” Anna. Their blended family also includes two four-legged hairy children, commonly known as Black Lab mutts, Kenda and Dolcé. When Amy’s not with friends or family, she is most likely reading, cooking or zoning out on certain reality television shows. Top Chef is a current favorite. She eagerly awaits auditions for the cast of “Top Author.” (“Quick Edit” instead of “Quick Fire” Challenge? C’mon, producers! That’s gripping television!)