Canadian Council of Natural Mothers' Library

Reunion: The Search for My Birth Family
Madelene Allen ("Ferg")

This book reads very much like the mystery stories Ms. Allen enjoys. She begins her story with her need, as an adopted child, to learn about the heritage her parents could not share with her--that of her natural family. It was her adoptive parents, through their interest in their own ancestry, who set her on the path to find her natural family and to know that heritage also. The story follows her long search over the years, never flagging in its suspense. It is peppered with gems of search information and with her own feelings as she searches. In the end, Ms. Allen finds her natural mother, and learns the story that lead to her adoption. The close relationship she establishes with her natural mother and her siblings gives a happy ending to this tale, despite the sorrow she finds because her natural father died before she found her family.

The book is valuable to those adopted, natural families and adoptive families in describing how it is that many people who were adopted come to search and why they feel as they do. In addition, there is a set of appendices that give further references for searching and provincial (Canadian) sources for information. There is a clear logic for searching given in the steps Ms. Allen details in the book, allowing other searchers to follow her steps in their own searches. Although the book is Canadian, giving examples of search information in Ontario, the sources and steps for searching for lost family members are useful anywhere.

Most of all, Ms. Allen has created a wonderful story, with a sympathetic heroine (herself!), a suspenseful plot (will she find her family?), and a happy outcome (she does!). The book really does keep one turning the pages to find out if, and how, Ms. Allen found her natural family. The writing is smooth and interesting, giving a clear portrait of a person in search and the frustrations of the closed record system. The book is highly recommended for all members of the adoption triad.

Reviewer: Sandra Falconer Pace

Toronto, ON: Stoddard Publishing.
ISBN 0-7737-2588-1

© The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers