Friday, March 5, 2010
From the other Side of the Uterus
Ok, so who's heard of the birth mother memoir Without a Map, by Meredith Hall?
It was published in 2007, so I'm a little late to the party, but geez, this one is a must-read. Hall's writing is exquisite, so if for no other reason, read the book for the beautiful prose.
Of course, there's more to it than that. She describes being shunned by her family and community as a result of becoming pregnant at age 16 in 1965, and her portrayal of her isolation mirrors my (and many other adoptees') experiences of loneliness and loss of sense of belonging. I have recently been thinking about how the birthmother's experience is very like the adoptees experience, and she affirms it here:
"It feels like a murder, and is baffling because there is no grave; no hymns were sung to ease my going or to beg for God's blessing on my soul."
The book chronicles her pregnancy, and much later, her reunion with the son she placed for adoption. Although it's incredibly painful to read about how she was treated and how she dealt with that treatment, I'm finding it very instructive and comforting to get inside the mind of a birth mother who is the same age as my birth mother, and was therefore subjected to the same kind of social stigma as she was. Because my birth mother is silent about all this.
Have you read this book? If so, what do you think?
Please, let us know!!