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Ray Ray "Ray" (Cheshire)

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No Matter What: An Adoptive Family's Story of Hope, Love and Healing
No Matter What: An Adoptive Family's Story of Hope, Love and Healing
by Sally Donovan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.34

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible no matter what stage of the journey you are, 5 Dec 2013
We are second time adopters and were recommended this book by our social worker who said all her team are reading it. She said they couldn't believe how it was 'from the other side' - I think it was a very helpful insight for them. I started reading Sally's blog before I bought it so knew a little of what to expect but the book has been an incredible read and surpassed all expectations. The adoption process is so uniquely isolating and friends and family can be so quite to reassure you that 'everyone feels like that' / 'all new mums are scared' / 'all kids do that' that it actually adds to the feeling of isolation. I read the book in about two days, literally devouring it (and ignoring my family) in order to read it to the end. I also folded down at least 20 pages to refer back to at a later date. SO much of the experience was familiar it was hugely cathartic to read. All of adoption is bittersweet, every gain has an equal loss. Even a getting that prized 'perfect match' still reminds you of the fact that this is a synthetic form of becoming a parent at least at the start. There are so many people involved. It's such a leap of faith. So uniquely weird. I adored the first parts of the book, pre-match. Those local authority meeting rooms are instantly recognisable. I loved the way that a social worker initially orders their drink becomes an indicator of how they will be - black, no sugar = no nonsense efficiency. Two sugars/white oh and a biscuit please = incompetent / dithery / demanding. I could rave about this book at length. It's so well written, powerful, incredibly emotional but with a great pace. I wondered whether those starting the adoption process will get as much from it and I think they will. It's not a negative book and it's good to challenge the polite assumptions / professional advice that often is totally at odd with what we can see our children need. But I hope any anger in the book does bring about change. There is not enough support for parents adopting children who have attachment issues / who have suffered neglect. It's so reckless and in fact cruel to think that the adoption 'training' is sufficient, throw them together and it's happily ever after. It can be happy ever after but the children being placed is often just the start of a very long journey to becoming a family, it's not the end point. Overall though, you are just rooting for this family and full of admiration for the determination from both parents and children to overcome such difficult past and flourish in the future. And however their family started, 'Sally' and 'Rob' are the absolute epitome of parents. I wish them every joy and hope they inspire others to follow a similar path. Hopefully with more support and understanding as a result of this brilliant book.

A Blessing from Above (Little Golden Books (Random House))
A Blessing from Above (Little Golden Books (Random House))
by Patti Henderson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £2.55

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only does half the job, 14 Dec 2011
Sweet book and and pleasant illustrations but my 2.5 year old simply kept asking 'Where's the Baby Kangeroo?" and just didn't buy the the inter-species match between Mummy Roo and the baby bird. I also felt it was lazy to just have the casualness of a bird falling out of an over-crowded nest as the reason for adoption and just happening randomly to land in the Kangeroo's pouch. It misses any opportunity to discuss the matching process and how painstakingly people worked to find our daughter for us and find the best parents for her - which is something that when we talk about has really boosted her self-esteem. Unlike this book which likens her to a chick who seemingly is unmissed by it's birth siblings/mother. Not a great message unfortunately.

Left Bank
Left Bank
by Kate Muir
Edition: Paperback

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely dreadful - but I still read it to the end, 28 May 2008
This review is from: Left Bank (Paperback)
**Contains slight spoilers** Bought this for 25p at a charity shop so wasn't demanding much for my money. For the first half of the book it was a fun diversion on the bus into work. Depiction of Paris incrediably stereotypical (I lived there when I was 21 myself) but of Parisians themselves quite familiar if one-dimensional. The main issue with the book is the ghastly characters. You start loathing Madison, liking Anna, being slightly bored by Olivier. You end, disbelieving Madison, being totally disappointed in Anna and still being bored by Olivier. It was just weird like Kate Muir wanted the reader to develop amnesia half-way through the book or like someone else (pervy bloke) wrote the second half. What was the deal with the visit to see Anna's dad at the end? Nothing was resolved - we find out she's pregnant but don't get any thoughts from her about how she feels about this. For the first half we hear her inner mind/thoughts but then she becomes a secondary character, the other woman only observed through the eyes of Olivier - and thus reduced to descrptions of her lovely legs etc. Load of rubbish - good job my 25p went to a good cause. It will be going back to the charity shop at the weekend!

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