Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Everything You Ever Wanted

When someone asks you "how has it been now that you've adopted your son/daughter"? The answer is supposed to be "Its everything I ever wanted", which makes the phrase a great title for Jillian Laurens new book, Everything You Ever Wanted.

It's a memoire about the adoption of her little boy from Ethiopia. There aren't any unicorns floating on rainbows made of fairy wings in this story. We wind through the authors start in life as an adopted infant, through some wild years (putting it mildly), and into her marriage and desire for children. The little boy she adopts has significant challenges, and she truthfully describes the realities. Her writing is like art, her masters degree shows. You feel the pain and the love and the charm all together.

Honestly this book hit close to home for me. I found myself laughing at familiar scenes (even ones probably not intended to be funny), commiserating with others, and breaking down towards the end. I love the way Jillian Lauren writes- it's how I imagine I would write had I that level of talent. One sentence carried so much insight I had to stop reading to think about it. Writing of her own birth and subsequent adoption, she says....

"To be so unwanted and so wanted at the same time can carve a fault line in you".

Imagine my surprise to read of my IRL friend Christine Moers in there! It seems Ms Lauren is a blog reader and at some point contacted Christine, which turned into a friendship as well. So, we have a mutual friend!

At any rate, I was sent a copy of this book to review and I adored it. I'm struggling with how to describe it, so if it sounds weird, well, I warned you. It's such a good story I wanted to read fast to see what would happen next, and yet the phrasing and descriptions made me want to slow down to take in all that the author intended with her word choices.


  1. Oooo, Essie, thank you for all these book ideas lately! I appreciate the research you are doing for my book club. :-)
    PS I haven't read this book yet but I have read yours and you ARE a great writer. :-)

  2. You make me laugh - "it's how I imagine I would write had I that level of talent." Don't I now....

    This sounds funny, I bet to some, that you'd be racing through a book about an adoption to see "how it turns out" like a thriller, but I did the same thing when I read Raising Abel....And, like a thriller, I was almost crying out - not, "Look behind the door!" but "No! Don't use time out!!! NO!"

    Anyway, when I can read one more book that doesn't give me escape (rather than more of the same), I'll keep this one in mind;.

    1. I did not think of that, but you're right it probably does sound funny!


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