Andrea Barton is single but wants a child. When an infant is abandoned at a church on the north side of Chicago, Andrea first becomes a foster mother and then adopts her. Andrea believes that love and her experience as a social worker will see her through the challenges of raising an African-American child in a white world. During Pearl s childhood, Andrea is able to proteAndrea Barton is single but wants a child. When an infant is abandoned at a church on the north side of Chicago, Andrea first becomes a foster mother and then adopts her. Andrea believes that love and her experience as a social worker will see her through the challenges of raising an African-American child in a white world. During Pearl s childhood, Andrea is able to protect her daughter from many of society s blows. But when teenaged Pearl starts to seek her own identity, their relationship is threatened. Both mother and daughter face situations that force them to confront the possibilities and limits of love....
|Title||:||Thicker Than Blood|
|Number of Pages||:||299 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Thicker Than Blood Reviews
i was lucky enough to read this moving novel before it was published. Blood Thicker Than Water tells the story of a family, a new kind of family, one created when a single, white, working woman adopts a black infant. Andrea Barton, a Chicago social worker in her thirties, yearns for a child. After a newborn infant is found abandoned on the steps of a church, Andrea fights to become her foster mother, then adopts the baby girl. Andrea is a social worker who helps immigrant families adjust to American life, so she is acutely sensitive to the politics of race in contemporary America, but this hardly prepares her for the difficulties ahead for her and for her daughter, in school, on the streets of Chicago and Paris, and within Andrea’s own family. Andrea’s sister is uneasy with the girl Pearl becomes, rambunctious and bold, while Andrea’s mother Nancy fawns over her granddaughter, who reminds her of a secret she’s kept since her youth about the baby she was forced to give up. When the little girl, Pearl, grows into an angry teenager, Andrea is unable to bridge the chasm that springs up between them. How individuals seek and avoid love, how they misunderstand and hurt one another are at the heart of all intimate relationships. How this bind is magnified and complicated by the pressure of race is what this fine novel reveals.
People who are adopted and parents who, with the best intentions, choose adoption as a way to start a family will be drawn to this book. Cross-racial adoption is especially fraught, as Andrea, a single woman, discovers. Pearl, her daughter, learns that her peers are not always kind, and she cannot tell her mom what really goes on in school. With a minefield of mistakes on everyone's part, there are no easy answers as to what makes a mother and daughter capable of mutual respect and a tentative trust, but as a reader, I desperately wanted them to learn from their misjudgments and find a way to love.
Thicker than Blood deals with many social issues today. From race, racial adoption, the struggle of being a single mother, and unplanned pregnancy, it will open your eyes to these issues as you walk in the shoes of Andrea. Andrea has a heart for the misplaced and when she has the opportunity to adopt a black baby girl, it is a dream come true to make a difference. Being single, she names her daughter Pearl and is determined to give Pearl the opportunities that she deserves. Andrea’s family, her parents and sister welcome Pearl into their lives and Andrea’s is surprised by her mother’s support and favor of Pearl. A secret of her mother that is never revealed however, if it was, would it have made a difference as Pearl and Andrea come to hard times in their relationship. Pearl grows up to resent Andrea’s need to “change “ her life for the better. Pearl is determined to live her life as she wants and in doing so makes terrible choices.As a mother myself, these characters become all too real and you just want to slap some sense into Pearl. And maybe slap some sense into Andrea as well. Major slapping all around! Frustration as life is messy and opportunities are missed. There is a real appreciation as you walk in Andrea’s shoes in these issues and how change will only happen with true diligence in my belief prayer! Somethings I loved about this book and some not so much. I would have loved to see Andrea’s mother secret revealed and the ending was abrupt and without resolution.A Special Thank you to Fomite Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
The novel ends with a question: “Who knew what they were to each other?”The reader does. You not only know who they are to each other, but how they came to be in that coffee shop and the worlds they have known. You know the love they share and the traumas they have endured, you have read a book you will not forget. You have been the only confident on a secret that changes a woman’s life, one she’ll never tell her daughters. You have followed a girl through the streets of Paris, unable to warn her that the character she’s trusting, against her better judgment, can’t be trusted. Even before that, you have been unable to warn her that the friends she trusts in high school are involved in a cruel trick. You know it’s a cruel trick, but you don’t know how it will end and you turn pages experiencing the bewildering pain of the prank. Earlier om the novel, you have an aunt lash out at the one child who is trying to make a thanksgiving dinner the success the aunt had in mind.Jan English Leary succeeds in developing the complexity of adopting a child and the challenge Andrea, a single mother endures. Leary creates characters who support one another, sometimes let those most important to them down, and ditch true allies when their needed them most—once because their own lives are wrenched by cancer.You might guess when you pick up a book called Thicker Than Blood, that family ties will be explored, but you couldn’t know how complex those ties can be in this beautifully woven novel of a mother and her child.
This story of a single white mother and her adopted black daughter made me ache with compassion for the mistakes each made and cheer for their resilience and determination to overcome. If you've ever been a parent or a son or daughter, you will find yourself in this dramatic struggle.
I got this book through Goodreads giveaway :) The book offers insight on parenthood, being a single parent, adoption, and the fears that go along with it. The story focuses on Andrea, a social worker who helps refugees settle into a life in America after escaping from circumstances in their own country, and her adopted daughter Pearl. You find Andrea doubting herself as a mother, from the minute she took Pearl home til the very last page. I wanted to reach through the book and shake her lol. In the 18 years of raising a black child in a white world, you would think she would learn to not worry about what other people might think. She often worried about what her mother might say, but little does she know her mother birthed a black child herself and put that child up for adoption. Had her mother shared this with her, would it have changed things?Then you have Pearl, a wheezy little kid interested in the simple things to an out of control teenager. How did she get here? Why was she out of control? What happened in between? Where was the discipline? She struggled with fitting in school, getting caught giving blow jobs, smoking, dropping out of college to run away with her bf who ends up leaving her on the streets of Paris, only to be raped and pregnant in the end. o_0OH AND THE ENDING... WTF?! way to leave me hanging. So many questions left unanswered.
Thicker Than Blood by Jan English Leary. 3.5 starsThis was a Goodreads win for me. The bonds between women are like a rubber band, they stretch, give and take but manage to hold pretty true to its original shape. This is the way I saw the bond of Andrea and Pearl. Andrea sharing her love with her adopted daughter Pearl, Pearl accepting it but as time goes on she pushes Andrea away as a lot of teenagers do. Joined in that rubber band is Andrea's mother, Nancy with secrets of her own that she has never shared with anyone. Joanne, Andrea's "perfect" sister who can't admit her own daughter struggles with anorexia. Freya, Andrea's co-worker tries helping Andrea but is struggling with her own issues that she has chosen not to share. The bond each of these women has with Andrea stretches but the question is will it be able to maintain its shape or will it snap under the pressure of life's daily struggles?Nicely done Ms. Leary.
Disclaimer - I received this book for free from Goodreads Giveaways.I had to let this book really sink in before I could write a review, and I'm still not sure I can articulate it. The author did an excellent job of conveying the bitterness and heartache that exist in families and shape our world views. She also captured the struggles of the mother/daughter relationship as Pearl got older. But in the beginning I thought the mother was irritating and trying to hard to prove that it was okay for her to adopt a child of a different race. Maybe I'm naive, but I felt like she overreacted to every look, every word anyone said. And that jaded me through the rest of the book.
Full review to come.Themes: adoption, love, knowing and understanding your roots. Jan English Leary takes a plot point about adoption and pens a story that is about the daughter- her struggles and desires to find her place in the world. Thoughtful and thought provoking at times.