Saturday 28 January 2017

Book ~ "Bastards" (2016) Mary Anna King

From Goodreads ~ In the early 1980s, Mary Hall is a little girl growing up in poverty in Camden, New Jersey, with her older brother Jacob and parents who, in her words, were "great at making babies, but not so great at holding on to them." After her father leaves the family, she is raised among a commune of mothers in a low-income housing complex. Then, no longer able to care for the only daughter she has left at home, Mary's mother sends Mary away to Oklahoma to live with her maternal grandparents, who have also been raising her younger sister, Rebecca. When Mary is legally adopted by her grandparents, the result is a family story like no other. Because Mary was adopted by her grandparents, Mary’s mother, Peggy, is legally her sister, while her brother, Jacob, is legally her nephew.

Living in Oklahoma with her maternal grandfather, Mary gets a new name and a new life. But she's haunted by the past: by the baby girls she’s sure will come looking for her someday, by the mother she left behind, by the father who left her. Mary is a college student when her sisters start to get back in touch. With each subsequent reunion, her family becomes closer to whole again. 

In New Jersey in the early 1980s, Peggy and Michael were the parents of three children, Jacob, Mary and Rebecca.  They lived in poverty, their marriage was trouble and Michael would come and go.  Not being able to afford to look after all three of her children, Peggy sent Rebecca to live with her father and stepmother, Charlie and Mimi, in Oklahoma.  During the times that Michael would come back, Peggy would get pregnant.  This happened four times, which resulted in Lisa, Rebekah, Meghan and Lesley, and the babies were adopted right away with the provisions that they had to go to college and they could come looking for their birth families if they wanted.

When the Mary was six or seven, her family life stabilized a bit.  Michael moved back in with the family, they rented a nicer larger apartment and they brought Rebecca back to live with them.  This didn't last too long ... Michael left again and Peggy sent Jacob, Anna and Rebecca to live with Charlie and Mimi in Oklahoma.  They were very strict and Jacob didn't fit in so was sent to live with his father in New Jersey.  Charlie and Mimi adopted Mary and Rebecca and raised them.

This is Mary's story.  Eventually the siblings, all seven of them, find each other again and become a family.

I like reading memoirs and I found this one interesting.  I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.

Mary and her siblings had quite a life.  I hope that after all they've gone through, they are able to live happy and healthy lives.

1 comment:

Esma said...

I think this book will add up to my shelf to read :3