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The Adoption [Paperback]

Anne Berry
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

28 Feb 2013

Barefoot, I pick my way across the rough floorboards to where a drawer lined with a quilt serves as a crib. Kneeling as if at chapel, I gaze down at my babe in her makeshift manger.

I must not touch her. When I look I must not touch. When I touch I must not look. In this way Mam says no bond will form.

Having fallen pregnant to a German POW, a young woman gives up her child for adoption. Years later, after a loveless childhood, her daughter will finally discover the secrets of her birth.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (28 Feb 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0091947057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091947057
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anne Berry was born in London and spent her childhood in Aden and Hong Kong where she was educated. She worked for a short period as a journalist for the South China Morning Post, before returning to Britain. After completing a three-year acting course, she embarked on a career in theatre, playing everything from pantomime to Shakespeare. Her first novel, The Hungry Ghosts, was shortlisted for The Commonwealth Writers' Prize and The Desmond Elliott Prize. She now lives in Surrey with her husband and four children.

Product Description


"Heartwarming tale of motherhood and identity...[one of] this year's coolest must-reads" (Stylist)

Book Description

Told from the perspective of three very different women, The Adoption is an astonishing, warm and wise novel about motherhood, family and identity and the search for both, from the critically acclaimed author of The Hungry Ghosts and The Water Children.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Seething with strong emotion under the surface of its rather workaday, flattish title, `The Adoption' is a triptych tale of three strong women: Bethan, the birth mother, and Harriet the adopting mother of Lucilla. Seen from their varied points of view over five decades or so, it succinctly gathers up into a perfect record of how things have changed over the years with regard to morality, parenting and boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Parents actually owned their children legally until their majority at twenty one and could withhold permissions that now seem outrageous.

Welsh girl Bethan's parents are post WWII strict ones of the toughest kind. They are mostly silent, scarred by the loss of their soldier son, scared of scandal. They bend their daughter's life quite out of shape with the best of intentions; her father rules the home and farm in a way that may seem inconceivable to modern women. Recognisable though to those over sixty now, the power such parents exerted is formidable. The way they refused to see that their daughter was truly good and deeply in love with a fine man is bleakly shocking. What a waste of possibilities. The strait jacket thinking of the times blinded them and gave their cruel ways a sick seal of approval. There are however tantalising clues throughout to show that nature can outstrip nurture; inherited skills, and physical frailties will out come what may.

Disappointed in life, Harriet is egged on by her husband to use the services of the dubiously helpful adoption society, "A Homeless Child for a Childless Home". A middle-aged woman, set in her ways, she is narrow minded, tricky and hard to like. Her kinder husband has his own demons but is warmer and more generously hopeful. Luckless Lucilla is definitely the cuckoo in the nest of their hard home.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive read, could not put it down 17 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
So, finished `The Adoption' by Anne Berry a couple of days ago... Gobbled it up in 3 days! Anyway, I absolutely bloody loved it! In my view it was equally as good is Hungry Ghosts, although in a different way. The three main female characters were perfectly drawn, I particularly loved Laura (Lucilla) as a child- beautiful. There was for me one particular stand out moment, when Laura is talking to her son following her rejection from her birth mother (near the
end) where he is talking about forgiveness and love I think. It made me cry, I got tingles and my tummy flipped. Had to take my sunglasses off and wipe my eyes, (on my honeymoon in St Lucia) think everyone around me thought I was nuts!
Anyway it just absolutely got to me... The whole story did. When I finished I sat hugging the book (again close to tears) with a flush of loveliness going through me.
Yet again Anne Berry has made what was already a wonderful holiday, perfect! Thank you for bringing such incredible writing into my life!!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read! 9 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The book is written from the point of view of three women, the real mother, the adoptive mother, and the woman who was adopted. These observations begin with the real mother and on through the adopted girl's life from her school days to the present day. The adoptive parents were unsuitable, and the book brilliantly describes how the poor girl was put through embarrassments at school. The parents even denied her the opportunity of a scholarship. The adoptive mother in particular appeared to have no love for the girl at all, indeed probably not for anyone. That character was really well portrayed, as was her narrow and unintelligent outlook on life. The girl's character also comes over very well and we know that she instinctively felt that she did not belong in this family. Her dauntless spirit shines through, and when compared with that of her real mother, it seemed that perhaps the real mother and father gave in too easily, but then the times were different. A really good read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Emotive, insightful and a great read 25 July 2012
By S. A. Broadhurst VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book looks at adoption from three perspectives: the birth mother, the adoptive mother and the child. It looks at how each feel during the child's life and I found it be an emotive read, and gave real insight into the feelings of all concerned.
I found some of the thoughts and actions of the women difficult to comprehend or agree with during the story, however I could also see why they did somethings - societies opinions, the protocol of the day etc.

I would recommend this as a read for the summer but have some tissues at the ready and bite your tongue until you have finished it before judging any single character.

I felt that the author had fully researched the subject and viewpoints before writing the book and I will be recommending it to friends as a good read this summer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Motherhood 30 Jun 2012
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I adored this book even though it is not my usual genre of choice. I was hooked from the opening pages and was completely absorbed in the lives of the 3 mothers. Told from each of their viewpoints we hear how their lives shape up after a heart wrenching adoption takes place. I'm not a softy by a long shot but this tale moved me to tears several times. The lives of the women, the men they meet and marry and the children they have - all of these events are shaped by the adoption at the very beginning of their tale. As for the ending . . . I don't think it's a spoiler to say just have tissues ready! It wasn't at all what I'd expected but was so much better than I'd imagined (which is why I'm a reader and not an author.)For me this was a fabulous read and I'll definitely be looking out for more by Anne Berry.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good and interesting read
I enjoyed this book. It was well written. It kept my interest to the very end. The ending was good.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs M Magee
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent description of the anguish of adoption
Writing from the points of view of each of the major protagonists, the author deftly illuminates the mores of the 40s in post war Britain and the awful pain of lost love - both... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Marg
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and enjoyable
An enjoyable read. I looked forward to reading it every night. I will search out other books by this author.
Published 5 months ago by ELIZABETH HUMPHRYS
2.0 out of 5 stars Adoption
Long winded story seems to take a long time to get to the point.
flits from 1 charecter to the other,
Published 7 months ago by Rosemary Roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars lost welsh girl
I read this book with great trepedation being as my own adoption was during that time & with clear experiences of difficult adoptive parents & tracing a birth mother who could not... Read more
Published 7 months ago by polar bear
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story about how things can go wrong when adopting ...
Good story about how things can go wrong when adopting children and how sometimes it's not the fairytale ending people think
Published 8 months ago by mrs fiona bowden
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts.
The need to know what happens kept me reading to the end although there're were parts of this book that irritated me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Caro-arrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read on a wet day
Started very well with lots of promise, but tended to drift a bit in the middle. However, it is a beautifully scripted snapshot of childhood in the 1940/50s with all of the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Linda from Leicester
5.0 out of 5 stars The Adoption
Anne Berry's book The Adoption was a great read was sad near the end but ended really lovely. Really enjoyed it.
Published 11 months ago by L. J. Bryant
5.0 out of 5 stars The Adoption.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, growing up in the same years as the poor girl, it was the done thing to hand your baby over for adoption. Read more
Published 11 months ago by welshnanna
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