The Holiday season is over and 2013 is here!
I don't know about anyone else but I have been cleaning like a mad woman, rearranging the house and trying to start the new year off on a high note. If the house is perfect, it leaves more time for fun (and reading!)
I guess you could say my resolution for 2013 is to be better organized! (And here I thought I didn't make a resolution!)
We didn't do very much for New Years in our house. What was previously my favorite holiday for the third year in a row has turned into a quiet evening at home. We were even in bed before midnight! (Sorry honey, I will wish you a Happy New Year at 8am over scrambled eggs)
That said, one thing I did that night was read.
The book I chose to 'ring out' the old year?
I came across ‘Finding Gloria’ by Marianne Curtis, after hearing about it from a friend of mine. (Shout out to Ms. B!) The author happens to belong to an online book club we are in. When I heard it was a memoir about adoption and her life afterwards, I was intrigued. I added Finding Gloria to my reading list! I was lucky enough to grab a copy one day when Ms. Curtis had it offered on Amazon for a short time as a free e-book special! (I love it when a book I have marked to read is free!)
"Pouring her own hardships out onto the page, Marianne Curtis recounts her experiences growing up as an adopted child: adopted at birth, she was raised in a household where she was subjected to terrible and heart breaking forms of abuse. Her adoptive mother repeatedly tried to break her spirit, insisting that she was worthless and unwanted. In a desperate attempt to escape her circumstance, Curtis fled, as a teenager, to another city.
Desperate for acceptance and love, she married at age eighteen, and, by twenty-four, had four children. Her insecurities from her traumatic childhood followed her, however, and eventually led to the dissolution of three marriages and her own mental breakdown.
Finally, after the death of her adoptive mother, Curtis searched out her birth family, found them through Facebook, and eventually came to a place of love, healing, peace, and acceptance through the family she had not known for more than four decades."
As I said above, it is hard to describe a true story as something you ‘love’. I don't love the unimaginable pain and suffering inflicted on a helpless and trusting child. It broke my heart. I didn’t 'love' the fear and embarrassment she suffered as a teenager, it made me sad and angry. It also made me regret (as it should) so many things said and done to others when I was in high school.
As a mother I couldn't fathom treating a child terribly, or being forced to give my child up for adoption. I cried at times reading it. (yet another book that needs to come with kleenex!)
One of the things I want to note is how the story flows. There is a quality to it that makes it feel as if you are experiencing it with the author. Her life's lessons and struggles are hard for anyone to swallow, but they really make you think. For those few hours on New Years Eve I felt like I was living it along side her. When she was telling her birth mothers tale, I felt the pain of that mother come through on the pages. When she spoke of desperately trying to escape her home, I was praying that she could too.When she connects with her birth family via Facebook, I was ecstatic! I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the book comes toward the end. No spoilers, but I will hint and say it is very spiritual and (in my opinion) brings things full circle.
It takes a brave person to write a memoir. Let me pose a question to you? If you are completely true to yourself, do you have the strength to put your personal thoughts, mistakes, suffering and story to paper for the world to read? (Pretty sure I'd be hyperventilating into a paper bag if I wrote one and sent it to be published)
On that note, I will spell it out once more... (because I can)