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Kirkus ReviewsSlick, self-analytical memoirs of a young man who, at considerable pain to his adoptive parents, is driven to find the mother who gave him up at birth.
Although Green says that until he was 21 he never thought about his birth mother, he describes himself as a man whose rejection at birth not only shaped his unsavory relations with women but drove him to become a high achiever—class covaledictorian, first-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons, published author (The Dark Side of the Game, 1996, etc.), lawyer, and television sportscaster. Epiphany came when he learned that his girlfriend's mother, to whom he was especially close, had once given up a child for adoption. For the next seven years he tried to locate his own mother, and through a combination of persistence, luck, a willingness to trade on his reputation as a football star, and a readiness to ask favors, he finally succeeded. Despite his subject matter, Green's writing packs little emotional punch, and scenes that ought to pull heartstrings fall flat. While achievement and respectability are high priorities for Green, such is apparently not the case with his younger adopted brother, whose erratic job history and disturbing behavior serve as a kind of counterpoint to the author's own success. Green's story thus contains a double warning for adoptive parents: If nature wins out over nurture, you might find yourself raising a loser who will disappoint you; on the other hand, you might raise a winner whose single-minded pursuit of his roots will hurt you. Happily, Green's late grasp of what parenting is all about leads to the beginnings of a reconciliation with his adoptive parents.
A book that has the elements of an engaging human drama but, clogged as it is with amateur psychologizing, fails to stir.