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Found: A Memoir [Hardcover]

Jennifer Lauck

Price: 14.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

17 Mar 2011
"Found" is Jennifer Lauck's sequel to her "New York Times" bestseller "Blackbird: A Childhood Lost and Found." More than one woman's search for her biological parents, "Found" is a story of loss, adjustment, and survival. Lauck's investigation into her own troubled past leads her to research that shows the profound trauma undergone by infants when they're separated from their birth mothers--a finding that provides a framework for her writing as well as her life.
Though Lauck's story is centered around her search for her birth mother, it's also about her quest to overcome her displacement, her desire to please and fit in, and her lack of a sense of self--all issues she attributes to having been adopted, and also to having lost her adoptive parents at the early age of nine. Throughout her thirties and early forties, she tries to overcome her struggles by becoming a mother and by pursuing a spiritual path she hopes will lead to wholeness, but she discovers that the elusive peace she has been seeking can only come through investigating--and coming to terms with--her past.

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Found: A Memoir + Still Waters + Show Me the Way: A Memoir in Stories
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"I just finished "Found, " and I'm speechless. The child from "Blackbird" has grown up into an enormously wise, insightful, and honest woman. But that's all I'm saying. You'll want to discover the rest for yourself."
--Hope Edelman, author of "The Possibility of Everything and Motherless Daughters"

""Found" is a powerful story about the most primal love and loss. In prose that is as clear-eyed as it is beautiful, riveting as it is wise, Lauck shattered my heart and then put it back together again. I'll never forget this book."
--Cheryl Strayed, author of "Torch"

"There are many ways of losing and being lost, and many ways of finding and being found. Jennifer Lauck has experienced most of them, and in "Found" we share Lauck's heroic and spiritual journey as a displaced child who has lost both her birth and adoptive mothers and suffers from a series of abusive would-be mothers. She weaves a story of finding herself by becoming a mother and forgiving those who failed her."
--Betty Jean Lifton, author of "Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience"

"Lauck provides an articulate voice for the questions and complexities that so often come up for adoptees. Adopted people--and their families--would do well to listen."
--Adam Pertman, Executive Director, Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of "Adoption Nation"

"This story will resonate with anyone who has felt loss--loss of family, loss of self, loss of hope. The lesson here is resilience, keeping the hope alive, and knowing that no matter how desperate things are, they will get better."
--Nancy Verrier, author of "The Primal Wound" and "Coming Home to Self"

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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  35 reviews
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A parent lost and then found 28 Feb 2011
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jennifer Lauck's teenaged mom was forced to give her up for adoption. Jennifer's doctor pulled strings to get the child adopted by his accountant's family, ahead of hundreds on the waiting list. Jennifer's new mom had health problems, which probably would have kept her from adopting in the ordinary way. When this mother dies, Jennifer gets adopted by some distant family members who seem to value her more as a servant and as a source of VA and social security income.

The grown-up Jennifer eventually searches for and finds her own birth mother, after having two children of her own. It's not a fairy tale ending but it's complete.

What came through for me was Jennifer's strength and resilience. Somehow she survived a difficult upbringing, channeling her struggles into deep interests in music and dance. She gets to college, majors in journalism and creates an enviable career. Along the way she marries, has her own children, and delves into Buddhism.

The book hovers between four and five stars because at times I felt the pace was a little slow. At the same time, I never felt I was reading yet another story of "abused child finds salvation." Lauck manages to make her story unique and compelling. She writes about the pain of being an adopted child, but doesn't question how she came to emerge so strongly from her experience. She's accomplished more than many people who brought stronger background and education. Even as a high school student she participated in activities and was voted "funniest girl" in her class - an irony she doesn't address.

I've met others who were adopted who also felt incomplete. One woman in particular never felt at home with her adoptive parents. When she found her birth family, her mother had died and she never knew why she was given up for adoption. It will be interesting to hear from readers who were adopted; in fiction (especially murder mysteries) a common plot device has someone learning they were adopted. Found offers a more complex, ambiguous picture that's probably closer to reality for many adoptees and their families.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick with Blackbird and miss found 2 Jan 2012
By L. Phipps - Published on Amazon.com
I give anyone 3 stars for writing a novel. I just did not feel or relate to the storyline. I loved Blackbird and I have so much empathy for what Jennifer went through. I found myself feeling sorry for her husband and her kids. Too many people get wrapped up in the past and try so hard to find some truth. By the last pages I thought of the fact the she doesn't believe in adoption. How about I am thankful my Mom had me and gave me a life so I can enjoy my own children. By the end I just wanted to be done with the book. With the first book Blackbird I was found with this book I am lost and don't want to be found.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The universality of the human experience 31 May 2011
By Bluestalking Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
'Found' is the first of Lauck's works I've read. I wasn't sure jumping in with a memoir in the middle of a "series" was the greatest idea, but thankfully that worry turned out to be moot. 'Found' is a fine stand-alone, and I don't feel I really missed anything not having read her other books, as is the case with a lot of fiction series'. So if that's something you're grappling with, don't worry about it. Though I'm sure reading her other books would give a more fleshed-out portrait of the writer, jumping in mid-series isn't a problem.

It was my choice to read Lauck's 'Found' for the Amazon Vine program. Considering how burned out I am on the memoir genre (having just been through a couple years' worth of memoir mania, then declaring I was so over it), it surprised even me that I chose it. I didn't read it in the best of circumstances, as far as reader attention goes. It was my working out on the elliptical trainer book. I like to read nonfiction when I'm working out, and it's pretty much my litmus test for books. If it can keep me interested while I'm sweating like a fountain, clenching my teeth and swearing, it's a decent read.

'Found' moves quickly, and I enjoyed Lauck's ability to walk the fine line between writing emotionally and coming off sounding whiny and self-pitying. Because who among us hasn't had a crappy life, at one time or another? And who wants to revel in someone else's misery? 'Cause I don't know about you, but I have my own dysfunctional material to wade through.

The basic story, as you'll likely already have read in other reviews, revolves around Laucks' search for her birth mother. After trying other methods of finding herself and discover her own identity, she figured out the only way to put all this to rest and find peace would involve tracking down her mother. This takes a while. In the meantime there are broken relationships and the birth of her two children, her life as a writer, journalist and everything else that comes with normal, everyday life. All the time she's trying to make the best of the not-knowing, uncertain she'll even be successful. It's necessary to find a way for that to be okay, too, because there's never a guarantee things are going to work out the way you hoped.

Though adoption's not something I've ever had to deal with, a lot of 'Found' could be applicable to other tough life challenges as well. Lauck had a mother she desperately wanted to find. I'm saddled with parents I wish I'd never known. Doesn't sound comparable, but in a lot of ways it really is.

So many bad things people experience come with the same baggage: depression, lack of self-esteem, feeling of being misplaced, sort of, or uncertain who you really are. Laucks' experiences are, in many ways, universal. So her methods of coming to terms with them are, likewise. Though it isn't always necessary to identify with the issues dealt with in a memoir, it can be very helpful when you do.

Laucks' writing does justice to her journalist experience. It's methodical, answers all the who, what, when, where, etc., and is just an enjoyable read. The style's lovely, as I wrote earlier never descending into self-pity. But it is very introspective, illustrative of the necessity of self care and forgiving others for having - intentionally or not - hurt you, in ways little and huge.

I enjoyed it, though I think I may *really* be done with the memoir for a while. I'd recommend her, and somewhere down the road maybe I'll check out some of her other writing. So, for what she intended and how well the book succeeded, I'm giving her the full five stars. Because I think she did an exemplary job, even for this memoir-weary reader.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Contrived, Boring, A real letdown 2 Oct 2013
By Kotton Kandee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Yes, BLACKBIRD was a really good book. This one was the fall from grace, I guess, can't be perfect all the time?

It just never 'touched me'. Too much crazy stuff about spending a fortune going to Canada for some weird religious search/discovery.

Seemed to me she had a pretty good life but wanted more, I guess a lot of us do. But why screw up a good marriage because you're convinced that as a baby you knew your mother was missing/had abandoned you so you spent your life searching? Then on top of that you trash sort of your adoptive parents we cared about as people in Blackbird.

I have an adopted sister and brother. My brother could care less about his birth mother, my sister was sort of obsessed with it. But to follow the author's assertion/storyline, adopted kids will be forever restless till they find THE ONE. And then after you find her it falls apart but TA-DAA, you find a new nice guy and probably / maybe live happily ever after.

The husband you shafted sees you're really a nice person and you found that thing you were looking for.

Blah blah, horse puckey. Wasted my time and the book was of minimal length so no bang for your buck here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, engaging and insightful memoir 6 May 2011
By Annie B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
With Blackbird I started a journey with Jennifer Lauck that led me to this book Found. It's a journey I wish I could begin all over for the first time, it's been such a great one. The writing and the writer's voice are simply superb.

I am so awed by this woman's courage and writing ability. Many people attempt writing memoirs and end up telling stories better left untold or telling them so badly that reading them is like viewing trainwrecks that have little point or message to be gleaned from them. Lauck's style is poised, concise and straight from and to the heart, and interesting insights abound. She simply takes my breath away with her ability to quickly draw a reader into her story so that it feels like one friend speaking to another.

Lauck's journey has covered much ground. Her adoption, childhood abuse, brother's suicide, marriage, and becoming a mother, just to name a few. Dealing with an adoption situation myself, I know Lauck's insights and enlightenment will be very useful and am grateful for having had the opportunity to read Found, as well as Blackbird and Still Waters.

Found is a beautifully written, sensitive memoir that definitely made me rethink adoption and separation between mother and child at birth. I highly recommend Found, though I think I would start with Blackbird followed by Still Waters so a reader can fully appreciate this wonderful book.
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