From the Publisher
"A bright, lively, and funny look at an eccentric mother-daughter relationship." The New York Times Book Review
"An enchanting tale. .. . Full of charm, humor, and unsentimental wisdom." Publishers Weekly
"Funny and poignant.... Then She Found Me is a truly happy book." New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Winningly wry and dry-eyed.... Funny, moving, and very wise in the ways of life." Kirkus Reviews
"Keenly expressed insights.... Charming." Vogue
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Quiet and content April Epner, a high school Latin teacher whose adoptive parents are recently deceased, is claimed by her birth mother, an obnoxious TV talk show hostess. ``Raising laughter and tears with acutely observed characterizations and dry, affectionate wit, Lipman also keeps dealing out the surprises, leaving readers smiling long after the last page is turned,'' PW said. (Apr.)
What happens when a well-adjusted adult is found by the birth mother she never sought? In Lipman's deft hands, the relationship between high school teacher April Epner and her newly discovered mother, talk-show hostess Bernice Graverman, is often strained, replete with humorous misunderstandings, but ultimately a warm and positive experience for both. Lipman's depiction of a 1980s family is a skillful rendering of the morals and manners of our time. Each character displays his or her human contradictions, whether it's Bernice frantically inventing preposterous stories concerning April's birth father, or April tentatively moving toward romance with the school librarian. This is a delightful addition to public library fiction collections.-- Andrea Caron Kempf, Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, Kan.
Read an Excerpt
My biological mother was seventeen when she had me in 1952, and even that was more than I wanted to know about her. I had no romantic notions about the coupling that had produced me, not about her being cheerleader to his football captain or au pair to his Rockefeller. When I thought about it at all, this is what I imagined: two faceless and cheap teenagers doing it listlessly in the unfinished basement where they jitterbugged unchaperoned.
"Adopted" was never a label that made me flinch. Its meaning within our family was "hand-selected,'' "starcrossed," "precious." I loved the story of my parents' first glimpse o f me at the agency, how I solemnly studied their faces hers, his, back to hers then grinned. I was raised to be glad that the unlucky teenage girl couldn't keep me; the last thing I wanted was some stranger for a mother. Still, I slept with a light on i n my bedroom until I was twelve, afraid she'd exercise her rights.
Later it annoyed me. The teenage girl annoyed me, nothing more. Could she ever have worn real maternity clothes or taken a single prenatal vitamin on my behalf? Here is where I remember to feel relief and gratitude and say, no matter. I am healthy, happy, better off. It is a lucky thing she didn't keep me. I'd barely have finished high school. I'd have become a beautician or a licensed practical nurse, and I would think I had a glamorous career. The grittier I made it the more righteous I felt. I invented these jitterbugging teenagers when I was in junior high school, as my adoptive parents began to look old. I voted against the irresponsible kids, emphatically for the Epners. My story suited me and I grew to believe it. I did not attend support groups for adoptees and I did not search for anyone.
Then she found me.
Copyright © 1990 by Elinor Lipman