Finished About a Girl

I finished reading About a Girl by Sarah McCarry a few days ago.  Very briefly, I did not like it as much as the first two books in the Metamorphoses trilogy.

This final book felt rushed.  McCarry had some great characters and potentially a very engaging story but for me, personally, it moved way too fast. I wish she spent more time developing the characters and story lines.

Oddly, despite the seemingly condensed story, she uses a great deal of extra words.  Her writing is visual and highly descriptive (and I like this, it reminds me of Gaiman and I love Gaiman) but this book seemed needlessly wordy. In addition, while protagonist Tally was set up early on as a precocious, highly intelligent teenager, I struggled with her choice of words as well. I wanted to place her in the world of today’s teenagers and I could not do so. Something seemed off. Keep in mind I am parenting teenagers.

Early on we learn that Tally is on a quest for her biological parents. She was abandoned at birth on the door step of her “aunt”. Aunt (along with an amusing cast of characters) successfully raises Tally but as is often the case with individuals that have been abandoned/adopted/insert your own word here, she is not told much about her early beginnings.  At the age of 18, when her Aunt is out of town, Tally leaves Brooklyn for Seattle to find her roots.

It may seem to resemble an adoption search to some. It is not.  There is more focus on the individuals Tally meets and the experiences she has in the Northwest.  Consider it classic search for answers to the question of where she came from meets mythological creatures.

You do not have to read the first two books in the trilogy to enjoy this one.  However, if you do, trust that questions you may have had from the first two are answered in the final one.

Important to note that McCarry targets the YA (14-17 year old) demographic.  Being I am thirty years beyond that, my commentary should be taken very lightly.  I can see teenagers being far less critical.

You can buy the book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Next up for me (in no particular order and not all adoption themed):

DNA Test as Search Tool

A long term adoptee friend and former adoption blogger recently found her natural father after a lengthy search. She was able to do this via AncestryDNA. Her story thrilled me as I have watched her from afar struggle with her questions and deep need to know where she came from. Now she does! And she was welcomed with open arms by her first father!

I have several other friends who are in the position of wanting to find relatives but have limited information. One dear friend was born in Hawaii and adopted into the mainland. She has no info, other than a possible name, of her first mother. Given friend’s age and mother’s age, mother is likely deceased but what if she did DNA testing and found other family? Siblings?

Another friend is in a similar situation. She has limited information on her first mother. We tried to find her together a while back and we thought we had. Turned out it was not a positive match. Similar, very similar name, but other details were wrong. This friend recently told me she is indeed going to proceed with DNA testing. I hope she does. She, like all my adoptee friends, deserves to know this information. It should have never been withheld from her.

By the way, both of the aforementioned friends are both adoptees and first mothers. They long to know where they came from as much as they long to know the status of the children they surrendered to adoption.

Two other adoptee friends have been given problematic information about their natural fathers. The first mother of one friend has provided a name but given first mother’s behavior my adoptee friend doubts the truth of it. She would rather not approach this man and claim to be his child only to find out she is not. That actually happened to another friend.

Friend’s first mother was ashamed of how her child was conceived. Rather than tell the truth (I understand this can be painful and difficult so no judgment here) she told my friend the name of a man she “hoped” was her father. Friend found this man, became very close, and when DNA testing came into the picture, she learned he was not. She still has no idea who her father is although first mom has come clean on the circumstances of friend’s conception.

I share these stories to reinforce the value of DNA testing as an adoption search tool. My friend mentioned in the first para used AncestryDNA and GedMatch. While I am not an adoptee, I am searching for my paternal father’s family. My father who was born out of wedlock in WWII Poland and never knew his father. I promised my Dad before he died I would find his father and his family. Dad is gone four years now but I am still trying. I used 23andme for DNA testing as well as GedMatch. I do have a first cousin showing on 23anMe (also born in Poland) but she has yet to answer me.   The search continues.

If anyone is interested in learning more about 23andme, GedMatch, or AncestryDNA, let me know. I will have to defer Ancestry Q&A to a friend but I am happy to share what I know about others.

You can also learn more at the links below.

23andMe

AncestryDNA

GedMatch

Crossing fingers, holding thumbs and thinking good thoughts for all who want to know their roots (and still annoyed they have to go to such lengths to do so but glad the tools are picking up where legislation lacks).