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Monday, November 23, 2009

A Brief Chapter in my Impossible Life - Dana Reinhardt

This is a great story about a young woman, Simone Turner-Bloom, who was adopted as a baby and has always known she was adopted. She says she never cared about her birth mother, doesn't even call her that, in fact. She says she never wanted to or wants to know anything about her. And then Ryvka (spelling may be wrong because I listened to this one on my ipod) calls. Simone does NOT want to talk to her, but her parents keep pushing her. They push gently, but still they push. She can't figure out why because they've always said it's up to her but now they seem to be changing their tune. Finally Simone gets out of them that Ryvka is sick, very sick, and she really wants to see Simone.

Now Simone has a hard decision to make. She talks it over with another friend of hers who's also adopted, and he is the one who really convinces her. He tells her how much he wishes he at least had the chance to know his mother, but even though he's tried, it's just not going to happen. Simone decides to give Ryvka chance, and it turns out to be an amazing experience for her. She learns about what happened, and how she ended up where she did, why Simone had to give her up, how Simone's family responded. Thee are things she never thought she wanted to know, but once she's begun this relationship she wants to know more and more. She also finds out about her Jewish heritage, something she's never practiced before. She's never practiced any religion.

The story has a lot of philosophy intertwined in the plot, and I think it's a book that would best be appreciated by mature 8th graders or high schoolers. There's nothing inappropriate for younger readers, but I think they'll just get lot less out of it and would appreciate more as an older reader.

Available at the Multnomah County Library.

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