One Perfect Day: A Mother and Son’s Story of Adoption and Reunion

Diane Burke, with Steve Orlandi. Skyhorse (Perseus, dist.), $24.95 (190p) ISBN 978-1-62873-779-0
Romance writer Burke (Hidden in Plain View) trades fiction for memoir in this moving story about reuniting with the son she gave up for adoption. The book begins with a letter from an agency seeking to locate Burke 40 years after surrendering her child. Burke then backtracks to memories from when she became pregnant at age 19 after falling in love with a boy she met at a summer job. One of seven children raised in an Irish Catholic family, Burke is her mother’s “favorite to hate.” Indeed, it is her mother’s choice to cover up the pregnancy, send Burke to a home for unwed mothers, and later insist that Burke give up the baby for adoption. In the 1960s and ’70s, Burke recalls, an unwed mother’s needs were negligible, and she copes with grief, despair, and confusion without support. Soon after the baby’s birth, she marries, but discovers that her husband is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Later, Burke divorces and remarries a kindly older man. Meanwhile, Burke’s son Steve, now 39, decides to search for his biological mother. Burke’s depiction of her challenging journey reveals her extraordinary capacity for forgiveness and trust. 15 color photos. Agent: Nicole Resciniti, Seymour Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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