Book Review: Mother Mother

Mother Mother bookBook Review for Mother Mother by Jessica O’Dwyer


Mother, Mother is the story of 2 mothers, the adoptive and the birth mothers, of Jack (born Juan). It’s the story of an international adoption from Guatemala during a turbulent time and touches on many issues: shady adoptions, ethics, adoption breakdown, interracial adoption, prejudice (against children of colour and of adopted children), and the ins and outs of adoption.

As an adoptive parent myself I was anxious to read this book and I did enjoy it. However, I felt I needed some time to digest it after reading. There are so many issues brought up and so many emotions.

I love that the book alternates point of view to include the birth mother’s experience. And the political environment and some of the unethical adoption practices of Guatemala was also an important part.

This book was certainly heartfelt and had the feeling of a memoir from Julie’s point of view at times – she’s the American adoptive parent. I liked her and felt for her and my heart certainly went out to her when people made thoughtless or “well meaning” comments about adoption, fertility, or her son.

However, the novel also felt a little disjointed to me. Maybe it was trying to cover too much and needed a bit more focus? Maybe it was the pacing? I’m not sure.

Either way, this is an interesting and compelling book about international adoption, both from the perspective of a birth mother and an adoptive mother, and it has some interesting commentary on how society views adoption and adoptive children.

And, for the record, adoption is not second best. Adoptive children are our children. We love them the same as birth children. Birth parents are parents too. Adoptive parents are real parents.


Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.

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