"A stirring, vividly told story of a young woman's quest to find the family she lost . . . an impressive debut." Peter BalakianIn the early 1980s, Mary Hall is a little girl growing up in poverty in Camden, New Jersey, with her older brother Jacob and parents who, in her words, were "great at making babies, but not so great at holding on to them." After her father leaves the family, she is raised among a commune of mothers in a low-income housing complex. Then, no longer able to care for the only daughter she has left at home, Mary's mother sends Mary away to Oklahoma to live with her maternal grandparents, who have also been raising her younger sister, Rebecca. When Mary is legally adopted by her grandparents, the result is a family story like no other. Because Mary was adopted by her grandparents, Mary’s mother, Peggy, is legally her sister, while her brother, Jacob, is legally her nephew.Living in Oklahoma with her maternal grandfather, Mary gets a new name and a new life. But she's haunted by the past: by the baby girls she’s sure will come looking for her someday, by the mother she left behind, by the father who left her. Mary is a college student when her sisters start to get back in touch. With each subsequent reunion, her family becomes closer to whole again. Moving, haunting, and at times wickedly funny, Bastards is about finding one's family and oneself.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Mary Anna King was born in southern New Jersey and grew up in Oklahoma City. After studying English literature at Colgate University, she moved to Los Angeles, where she lives and writes.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Jersey
The Day the Music Died 9
Marigold Court 20
The Secondhand Washing Machine 35
Bringing Becky Back 44
Leaving Jersey 57
Part 2 Oklahoma
Telling Stories 83
Things You Can Tell Just by Looking 107
The Debt 118
Wake Up 131
Part 3 Found
Like a Hole in My Head 161
Good Daughter 177
Rebekah Two 191
Join the Club 207
Quarter-Life Crisis 217
Meeting Lesley 243
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think that this story should be read by all adopted children and their adoptive parents. It explains so much. I had a friend who was adopted and as a child of a large family I couldn't understand why she was sometimes so angry and at other times so needy. I was only 10 at the time and sometimes felt that she was mad at me but didn't know why. She once told me she was mad at me because I knew "what I was". I hope she had peace for herself eventually. Her parents loved her and still she had self identity.
Could not put it down. Reading it again. Amazing story.
I couldn't wait to read this one; however, I made myself stick with it just to see how it turned out. Dysfunctional parents having baby after baby and giving them up for adoption, as well as sending the three they kept to be raised by the grandparents. Mary Anne King had a distracted and emotionally detached life. It is not a boring or bad book...just mediocre.