Giving Away Simone: A Memoir

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Times Books, 1995 - Social Science - 236 pages
Jan Waldron's baby, Simone, was actually the fifth generation of women abandoned by their mothers. Determined to fight "an undertow of conditioned exiting, an affliction of easy farewells," Jan reunited with her daughter, now renamed Rebecca, when Rebecca was eleven. They spent the next thirteen years trying to get used to each other and figure out what kind of relatives they are. Giving Away Simone is Jan's account of their compelling, turbulent, maddeningly original relationship.
For Jan, the looming questions are: How does she end a legacy of leaving? What does she owe Rebecca, and what does Rebecca owe her? How does she look her own flesh and blood in the eye and answer the only question there ever is about the wrenching severance of adoption: Why? As Jan and Rebecca continue to negotiate their relationship through uneasy truces and outpourings of love, the answers will never come easy.
For birthmothers, there are no simple equations of loss and gain. Each adoption is its own unique universe of complexities and ambiguities. This beautifully rendered, unforgettable memoir gives essential shading to choices usually reduced to black and white and probes the emotional fallout on both sides of adoption. It also asks us to reconsider the heart of what kinship means and reexamine our relationships to the mothers before and after us.

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GIVING AWAY SIMONE: A Memoir of Daughters, Mothers, Adoption, and Reunion

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A penetrating first-person account of a mother-daughter reunion, by freelance writer and editor Waldron. At age 17, with the '60s in full swing and faced with a deteriorating family life, Jan Waldron ... Read full review

Giving away Simone: a memoir

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Waldron, a birthmother who allowed a family she knew to adopt her daughter and then reunited with that daughter when she is 11, here tells her story. The challenges Waldron faces as she attempts to ... Read full review


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Afterword by Rebecca

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About the author (1995)

Jan L. Waldron has taught nonfiction writing at the University of New Hampshire, Northern Essex Community College, and Emmanuel College.

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