Put down what you’re reading and find Jennifer Laucks (book) Found.

It's a big, big, (adopted) world.

It’s a big, big, (adopted) world.

Evoking Jurassic Park-level fear, while softly reminiscent of Eat, Pray, Love, Jennifer Lauck’s memoir Found is a quick, and at times difficult read. I swore off of adoption memoirs for the summer. I had been reading them in a steady stream for 2 years, including the classics, the best sellers, the confessional, the kooky.

On the whole enjoyed the book. My buddy Luanne  who writes at Don’t We Look Alike and Writers Site recommended it and I immediately downloaded it; so much for swearing off memoirs for the summer. Addiction? I prefer to call it dedication.

I first encountered the concept that maybe historically closed and sealed adoption wasn’t always was the best thing through Deanna Shrodes excellent, heartfelt blog, Adoption Restoration.  Deanna is publishing the “book” part of her blog, meanwhile you  can read a bunch of her writing on her site.  Yes, faithful readers, this is the woman I called a nut, in print. It was akin to throwing a rock through a plate-glass window to get the owner’s attention., so  you get to say you’re sorry.

Three things stood out while reading Found:

This book is scary because she enables the reader to share her fear. Seldom do I find myself all scrunched up over a non-fiction book, but I did just that, turning the pages that wound down to reunion and ultimately, a type of rejection. There were a couple of pages where I could hardly breathe, so universal the emotions expressed, yet so distinctly singular to the author’s personal story.

The second thing that sets this book apart is the writer’s ability to cram so much emotion into one tiny book. I didn’t have heaving “Terms of Endearment” crying jags over it but it did touch me in a stony cold place where I usually don’t allow my “work reading” to go. Adoptees looking for a book to recommend to others will find something here to spark memory and conversation.

Finally, woven throughout the fairly linear story there were a few parts (when she talks about her therapy, and her relationship with one particular man) that I found to be preachy and assuming. But for the most part these moments are sparse and expert editing keeps the fast-moving narrative on track.

It is refreshing when a memoir is honest to a fault. Although her meditation journey is such an important part of the story, I found the amount of time and energy spent away from her family difficult to swallow, counterbalanced with her own feelings of abandonment. By including this in her story, she depicts herself as a flawed character, in other words, human. That is the best of what this book has to offer…it is utterly human.

 

You might like:

 

Adoption Reunion in the Social Media Age, An Anthology by Deanna Doss Shrodes, Corie Skolnick, Richard Hill and Rhonda Noonan (Jan 14, 2014)

 

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3 thoughts on “Put down what you’re reading and find Jennifer Laucks (book) Found.

  1. This is a really thought-provoking review, Jaye. You know I love this book, so I didn’t notice some of the criticisms you make. You’ve given me something more to think about with the book, although I will still say I find it one of the most amazing memoirs, ever. Anybody can benefit from reading this book, I think, but those in the adoption “triad” particularly should (preachy anyone? hahaha) read it. Woo hoo, so glad you read it so I could get your view on it!

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    • Thanks for your comments, Luanne. I am trying to be a little more balanced in my comments. You’ll notice that I don’t often use the word review, so much of the time it feels like I am writing a love letter or gushing over the book. I would put this book in a “top 5” list, perhaps I should have said that. I actually like that it isn’t perfect (for me), so that it seems more human and real.

      On another note, I recently (on an adoption post day) lost a whole handful of subscribers at once. Has to make me wonder if it better to talk about the kitties.

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