A pregnant, upper class nineteen-year-old Philadelphia Main Line debutante is confined, against her will, to a state mental hospital. She spends her pregnancy surrounded by the mentally challenged and the criminally insane. On April 19, 1964, she gives birth to a child, whom she is forced to give up for adoption.
A loving middle-class couple adopts a month-old little girl from Catholic Charities. She is adored and cherished from the very beginning. It is as though she is dropped into the first chapter of a fairy tale - but we all know how fairy tales go.
This is the story of a mother and daughter. Of what it is to give up a child and what it is to be given up. Of what it is to belong, what it is to be a family and what it is to yearn deeply, and to never lose hope - because anything is possible.
In this exquisite memoir, Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield recount the stories of their lives. Deliciously strange, surprising and sweetly funny, this tenderly written book takes us on a wild and frightening journey. Written in two distinct and deeply expressive voices, their stories seamlessly meld together in a breathtaking ending.
"Shining through both narratives is goodness and the power of the human spirit. A dually narrated, uplifting tale on overcoming profound adversity." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming mother-daughter story that defies fiction. Every plot twist, every emotion touches a chord, even for those of us who have not had to endure such a brutal separation. Read it and weep - and then finally rejoice. An ode to the enduring power of family ties." (Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey, author of A Woman of Independent Means)
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