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The Adoption Paperback – 28 Feb 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (28 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091947057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091947057
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,754 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.

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Review

"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

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Katharine Kirby TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 July 2012
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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By GM Harlow VINE VOICE on 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By NIKITA on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Freckles VINE VOICE on 8 April 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have mixed thoughts about this one.

It gripped me from start to finish and the writing is excellent. The story revolves around the lives of 3 women who are all linked through "The Adoption." Bethan lives on a farm in Wales where German POWs have been assigned to help her father. She falls in love with one of them and becomes pregnant.....not easy at the best of times in the late 1940s, but made much worse by the father's nationality. Bethan is forced to give her baby girl away..there are no ther words to describe it. The adoptive parents are very strict, particularly Harriet the adoptive mother. Lucilla...the baby....does not grow in to the "right sort" of girl for Harriet's liking. Not for Lucilla the joy of embroidery, baking and homemaking. Lucilla is a tomboy through and through and very rebellious. Her love of art could have given her a wonderful life, but even that is denied her. She isn't told of her adoption until she is 14 years old, and not in the most sensitive of manners.

Lucilla eventually finds happiness with her husband Henry and their 2 children, but she wants to trace her birth mother as many would in her situation. All the way through the novel, we are told that Bethan has ached for her first born child, and her subsequent second daughter...her echo baby... has been denied her love and affection because of this obsession. Yet, when she is approached by the adoption services acting on Lucilla's behalf, she refuses to have anything to do with Lucilla and writes what can only be described as a cruel letter telling her as much. Now this was where I lost patience. Why this sudden turn of events? We are not told.
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