If You Could See Me Now: A Chronicle of Identity and Adoption

If You Could See Me Now: A Chronicle of Identity and Adoption

by Michael Mewshaw
     
 

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When Michael Mewshaw receives a call from a stranger who says she has reason to believe he is her biological father, Mewshaw realizes he has been half dreading, half hoping for this to happen for over thirty years. Just like the young woman who wants to find the last piece to the puzzle of her life, he thinks it’s possible that in the same process he will

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Overview

When Michael Mewshaw receives a call from a stranger who says she has reason to believe he is her biological father, Mewshaw realizes he has been half dreading, half hoping for this to happen for over thirty years. Just like the young woman who wants to find the last piece to the puzzle of her life, he thinks it’s possible that in the same process he will discover the answer to questions that have plagued him for decades. But first he has to make sure that she is who she claims to be.

In this fascinating memoir, Mewhsaw confronts his own past, the chaos of his family, and complicated memories of the woman he once loved who went on to success as an ambassador, Under Secretary of State and a member of one of America’s most influential families. His unusual role in the baby’s birth, her adoption and, now, her search for her biological parents sets the stage for a revealing personal odyssey that offers a quest for identity and a journey of discovery, an obsession with recapturing the past and righting old wrongs, the constant potential for disappointment balanced against the possibility of redemption. As he finds his old flame and her old lover, rediscovering who he was and who he has become, he finds his life enriched in the process.

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Editorial Reviews

Reeve Lindbergh
If You Could See Me Now is a different kind of story. In the first place, it was not written by the adopted child -- "Amy," as she is called -- but by the man she mistakenly believed to be her biological father. Amy's adoptive mother glimpsed his last name on a stray document in the adoption file, and three decades later Amy had a private detective track him down.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Mewshaw records the eerie, somewhat manipulative tale of being forced back into his personal experience of giving up a child for adoption. "Amy," an adopted woman seeking her biological parents, comes to Mewshaw, thinking that he is her father, after she received "nonidentifying information" from the Children's Home Society in L.A., which arranged for her adoption in 1964, after she was born to an unmarried mother. Concerned about health issues on the eve of her marriage, Amy seeks information on her personal history. Skirting her questions until he ascertains whether Amy is truthful, Mewshaw is plunged back into a time of emotional trial, when he followed his pregnant college girlfriend, the beautiful and politically ambitious Adrienne Daly, from his college in Maryland to L.A. to help arrange for her infant's adoption. As it happened, Mewshaw was not the father; he and Adrienne soon split up and they had no further contact for 30 years. Out of sympathy for Amy's plight, though, Mewshaw contacts Adrienne, now a top-level Republican official, and attempts to strong-arm her into answering Amy's queries; he also tracks down Amy's biological father and tries to weave the family threads together-and exonerate himself. Mewshaw, author of 10 novels and six nonfiction works, has fashioned an intimate saga. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

“[A] real bond grew between the adopted child and the man who was not her father but who became her friend. Mewshaw helped Amy patiently and compassionately in spite of his hurts and shortcomings, just as he once helped her mother. There is courage in this exercise, and there is hope. Supported by loving families in the present, these two people went looking for an uncomfortable piece of the past together. Now that they have found it, maybe they both can leave it behind.” —The Washington Post

If You Could See Me Now is a work of art and stands shoulder to shoulder with the best memoirs of our age. Mewshaw's career is a pure wonder and If You Could See Me Now is his crowning achievement.” —Pat Conroy

“Mewshaw's considerable skill as writer lends heart and spirit to his bittersweet chronicle . . . Mewshaw shares his memories poignantly and honestly . . . The results are powerful, indeed.” —Midwest Book Review

“[P]oignant…What makes the narrative distinctive is that the storyteller is not a part of the adoption triad (birthparent, adopting parent, and adoptee), yet it still illustrates the difficulties that adoptees face in researching their biological background and in locating birth parents who had been assured of anonymity . . . Although true, this story reads like fiction and is hard to put down once started. An excellent addition to all public libraries; highly recommended.” —Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781932961201
Publisher:
Unbridled Books
Publication date:
09/02/2011
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

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