How strange that I just finished — without intending to do so — two novels with the main plot being about teenage pregnancy, adoption, and the adopted teen finding the birth mother. In both (the other being Finding Colin Firth) books, the birth mother’s life is incomplete, for reasons she can’t quite put her finger on, until the missing daughter shows up on her doorstep, bringing her life full circle.
I had no idea what Giffin’s new book was about when I picked it up. I’m pretty sure I had read all of her previous books (but haven’t seen that dreadful looking movie with Kate Hudson), so I grabbed it at the library and read it in an afternoon.
Giffin is a good storyteller. You mostly like the characters that you are supposed to like, and you aren’t so crazy about others that she’s decided aren’t so great. In this case, we liked Kirby, the 18 year old adopted girl living in St. Louis. She’s got a great family that she loves, but somehow has always felt like a bit of an outsider. When she comes of age, she’s allowed access to the file on her birth mother, and decides to go and find her, to see if her birth family is a bit more like her — musical and creative, a bit of a loner, and not so academically focused as others in her family.
Her birth mother, Marian, was a bit of a question mark. She’s an incredibly famous tv producer in New York, writing and producing a very “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia” type show on her local network. She’s dating the CEO of the network and lives the fabulous life. BUT. Something is missing. Marian thinks its marriage. Until Kirby shows up on her doorstep.
As Marian’s past comes out, and we learn about the events up to — and after — her teen pregnancy, honestly, I wanted to punch her in the face. And I wanted to hug Kirby’s birth father, Conrad, and let him know that everything would be all right.
If I had to guess, I’d say that Giffin was setting up these characters for a sequel (I think she’s done that before, right?), so we can either A) see the story from Conrad’s perspective, or B) see what happens to Marian and everyone else after Marian steps up and acknowledges all of the horrible decisions she made over the past 18 years. But honestly, I don’t really want to read another book about Marian, unless she’s a secondary character. She and her mom really pissed me off (her mother! Argh!). But I loved her dad and Conrad and Kirby and Kirby’s boyfriend, and would be happy to read about them again anytime.