Top critical review
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You can't fail to have an opinion about this book
on 29 July 2007
Homes narrates the story of her introduction to her biological parents at age 31 and her fragmented and difficult relationships with them in the ensuing years. Her biological mother, the Mistress of the title, while no angel herself, has been used and abused; her natural father is selfish and successful. The author paints both of them, and her adoptive parents and other relatives, with craft and wit. The characters, as seen by Homes, come alive and are exposed in all their flaws and virtues. The conclusion, that she is the product of both nature and nurture, is to be expected but the journey is compelling reading nonetheless.
What disappoints is the lack of self analysis that such a fantastic true story deserves. Holmes fails to convince us why in her new relationships she makes no attempt to right the historic imbalance between her natural parents, nor why her emotions are stirred more by her cold, predatory father than her repentant and needy mother. There's surely a further memoir to come in this story.
Enjoyable reading - and thought provoking too.