Mother Country by Jeremy Harding
Memoir of an Adopted Boy

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Synopsis

When Jeremy Harding was a child, his mother, Maureen, told him he was adopted. She described his natural parents as a Scandinavian sailor and a “little Irish girl” who worked in a grocery. It was only later, as Harding set out to look for traces of his birth mother, that he began to understand who his adoptive mother really was—and the benign make-believe world she built for herself and her little boy. Evoking a magical childhood spent in transit between west London and a decrepit houseboat on the banks of the River Thames, Mother Country is both a detective quest, as Harding searches through the public records for clues about his natural mother, and a rich social history of a lost London from the 1950s. Mother Country is a powerful true story about a man looking for the mother he had never known and finding out how little he understood the one he had grown up with.
 

About Jeremy Harding

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Jeremy Harding is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books. His books include Small Wars, Small Mercies, and Mother Country: Memoir of an Adopted Boy.
 
Published November 22, 2010 by Verso. 224 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs.

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Kirkus Reviews

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“Nevertheless, it’s a powerful illustration of what can happen when an adopted person, whose birth certificate shows only the names of the adoptive parents, exercises a legal right to see the original birth certificate.” An able, imaginative work of kinship and family.

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The Guardian

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Mother Country by Jeremy Harding 192pp, Faber, £15.99 If you're in the desert on a moonless night, searching for figures creeping towards you, you are more likely to spot them if you concentrate on the area where they are unlikely to be.

May 06 2006 | Read Full Review of Mother Country: Memoir of an ...

The Guardian

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Mother Country by Jeremy Harding Faber £6.99, pp189 Jeremy Harding always knew he was adopted;

Mar 04 2007 | Read Full Review of Mother Country: Memoir of an ...

The Guardian

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You hope for the moment of reunion, and though that moment, here, is all too brief - Harding would rather die than write with a handkerchief held mawkishly to his eye - it is so heart-warming, such a relief, that for a time you are able to put aside all the feelings he has carefully stirred up in...

Apr 09 2006 | Read Full Review of Mother Country: Memoir of an ...

Publishers Weekly

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Told in a straightforward manner with all of the false leads and dead ends of a Chandler hard-boiled caper, Harding's memoir is a testimony in determination and endurance as he searches for his birth mother after learning of his adoption as a child.

Oct 11 2010 | Read Full Review of Mother Country: Memoir of an ...

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