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An Affair with My Mother

'Incredibly moving' Anne Enright winner of the Man Booker Prize An Affair with My Mother by Caitriona Palmer a moving and gripping story of love denial and a daughter's uest for the truthCaitriona Palmer had a happy childhood in Dublin raised by loving adoptive parents But when she was in her late twenties she realized that she had a strong need to know the woman who had given birth to her She was able to locate her birth mother Sarah and they developed a strong attachmentBut Sarah set one painful condition to this joyous A young unmarried Irish girl gets pregnant in the 1970s gives birth while shrouded in Catholic shame and relinuishes the baby in a secret adoption The trauma of that secret never leaves her This beautiful memoir is written by that relinuished baby turned adult daughter who chronicles her search for her birth mother and the real story behind the many convent run unwed mother and baby homes I highly recommend

characters An Affair with My Mother

R unwed Irish mothers of her generation frightened traumatized and bereft It is also a beautifully written account of a remarkable relationship'Caitriona Palmer has called out the false shame of her origins with a kind of anguished courage that is incredibly moving An Affair With My Mother is a forensic account of how it feels to be in the interests of Catholic respectability excluded from the facts of your own life In its commitment to family love to joy and truth it is a gift' Anne Enright winner of the Man Booker Prize So helpful and no sacrifice in readability I am an adoptive mother so I pick up books about adoption occasionally to help me better parent my adopted son I appreciate the consideration the author gave to her motivations and emotions for searching She was willing to reveal her own shortcomings The honesty of her revelations certainly could have caused a lot of pain for herself as well as her birth and adoptive families Had she been a child at the time she found her mother she might have been unable to grant her the grace and forgiveness she needed to heal some of the deep scarring I hadn t been aware that the trauma for many birth mothers must block those memories eventually causing such damage theat the incident might be completely gone I can imagine that facing your mother for the first time only too have her fail to remember basic information about the child that they created and carried would hurt and kids might not be able to handle it After all what can a child know of macro economics religious dogma and geopolitical forces driving the shame and fear piled upon the birth mothers Not all but many are children themselvesThis book goes satisfyingly deep into so many issues that the author faced The baffling fears and incomprehensible anger when it seemed she should be happily anticipating a dream she had held since her young childhood must have been disorienting American adoptions don t seem to me to involve such deep shame There are still problems just not this one I have wanted some insight into the particular ways that attitude affects a child s beliefs about themselves and the other two people in the triad I am thankful that the author took the time to document her experiences and emotions in such a personal lifelong experience

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New relationship she wished to keep it to keep Caitriona secret from her family from her friends from everyoneWho was Sarah and why did she want to preserve a decades old secret An Affair with My Mother tells the story of Caitriona's uest to answer these uestions and of the intense furtive 'affair' she and her mother conducted in carefully chosen locations around Dublin By turns heartwarming and heartbreaking An Affair with My Mother is a searing portrait of the social and familial forces that left Sarah and so many othe After finding a half sister 3 years ago we never knew about I am constantly trying to understand and know my mother s story She died 27 years ago never telling any of us If my Dad who died in 2012 ever knew he never said and for some reason deep inside I don t believe he did know I couldn t put the book down I understood her need to know and visit the places from not only her past but Sarah s I felt at times Caitriona was a bit selfish in her needs I worried about Sarah maybe because I was reading for my mother maybe she felt fragile to me I m not sure As the daughter raised by my mother it s easy for me to feel that way but if my new sister felt as strongly as Caitriona and searched as she did maybe I would be understanding Mom was of Irish Catholic ethnicity but only 2nd generation American I think the Irish Catholic teachings were so strong they reached the US This was well written and I would recommend it


10 thoughts on “An Affair with My Mother

  1. says:

    A young unmarried Irish girl gets pregnant in the 1970s gives birth while shrouded in Catholic shame and relinuishes the baby in a secret adoption The trauma of that secret never leaves her This beautiful memoir is written by that relinuished baby turned adult daughter who chronicles her search for her birth mother and the real story behind the many convent run unwed mother and baby homes I highly recommend

  2. says:

    An incredible feat to have put together the narrative of her intersecting lives the one she was born into and the one she was hustled into via adoption It feels carefully too carefully constructed and yet there is anger underneath admitted to only briefly and rarely explored in the narrative despite lifting the lid on the Irish adoption experience it felt like much was left unwritten or perhaps written in a

  3. says:

    Very moving beautifully written

  4. says:

    Well written thought provoking

  5. says:

    After finding a half sister 3 years ago we never knew about I am constantly trying to understand and know my mothe

  6. says:

    I have wanted to read this since seeing the author on TV earlier this year An episode of Long Lost Family without

  7. says:

    So helpful and no sacrifice in readability I am an adoptive mother so I pick up books about adoption occasionally to help me better parent my adopted son I appreciate the consideration the author gave to her motivations and emotions for searching She was willing to reveal her own shortcomings The honesty of her revelations certainly could have caused a lot of pain for herself as well as her birth and adoptive

  8. says:

    The book starts slow as a journal or memoir of an Irish adopted girl detailing her daily life I was pushing the read and contemplated dropping the book multiple times In the second part of the book the story became uite interesting an

  9. says:

    This novel is a heartwrenching eye opening personal account about the oppressive nature of Ireland's theocracy in the 1970's until fairly modern times Palmer discusses openly the emotional turmoil involved with the adoption system that kept unmarried women like her mother isolated and shamed their entire life Her affair with her mother being

  10. says:

    Eye opening story of adopted childrenVery well written but sometimes tedious to read such detail However I felt anxious and understood a little better why someone would go to such a great extent to find their roots Also being the same age as Sarah I could understand her plight

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