Good morning and happy Friday!
Today I have the honour of reviewing Liz Butler Duren’s book, All About You: an adopted child’s memoir.
At fifteen, Liz learns a long-held secret about her life.
She was adopted.
This discovery leads Liz on a 29-year journey to find the mother who gave her away. Like a master detective, she deciphers decades-old agency documents to decode the truths within. Fraught with dead ends and disappointments, her journey threatens to reveal secrets that have long defined the lives of her loved ones. Told with heart, humor and bittersweet reflections of a South Carolina girlhood, All About You will resonate with any reader struggling to find their place in the world.
Official blurb for All About You: an adopted child’s memoir.
When Liz first contacted me about reviewing All About You, I had no idea what I was about to read. I never expected to finish this book in one sitting or be so moved by its contents. This book is non-fiction. This means that everything in this story is true- it happened. Liz’s childhood experiences, the revelation, the search for her birth mother, it’s all true. Liz is an extremely brave woman; choosing to share her incredible story with the world. I couldn’t help but read her story all in one go because I was desperate to find out what happened.
This book is fantastically structured. Each chapter is full of passion and emotion, yet Liz is also wonderfully witty and had me giggling every now and again. Although her story tugged will tug at your heart-strings, Liz always adds in some light comical relief to ease you further into her life.
Liz’s story starts where every story does- the beginning. We learn about her childhood struggle of trying to fit in and having her passions thrown under the rug. Liz’s childhood was one I am sure a lot of people can associate with, not necessarily about adoption, but for anyone who has ever felt like a square peg in a round hole. It was clear that Liz’s adoptive family cared for her, but perhaps didn’t show it often enough. We follow Liz through her teenage years and the shocking truth that turned her life upside-down. Although she always had a feeling she was adopted, her suspicions are finally confirmed at age fifteen. From then on, her life would never be the same. As her story continues, Liz grows up; we learn about her life beyond her childhood and what the future has in store for her, including three husbands, four beautiful children, and a prayer she hoped one day would be answered. From microscopic clues left on a blacked-out piece of paper, to a paper trail leading them to a small town, Liz tries to piece together the puzzle of where she came from.
Liz’s honest memories of her feelings and emotions really helped me try to get inside her head. I could feel every frustration, every heart beat missed, every long breath held along her journey to discover where she came from. There were times when I just kept wishing for a breakthrough and I had to remind myself that Liz actually lived through this – a whole 29 years of searching, hitting brick wall after brick wall. She is such a strong and courageous woman who never gave up hope, even when it felt like the whole world was against her.
If it was up to me, I would make sure everyone reads this book. In fact, I dare you to read it and not feel moved by Liz’s story. Her quirky and compassionate personality immediately draws you in and you can’t help but feel as if you know her. After all, she does reveal a lot about her life; the ups, the downs, and everything in between. Although I felt very sympathetic towards Liz, this was not the intention of her story. She wrote it for herself, and yet she has touched the lives of many with her words. Have you heard that phrase ‘truth is stranger than fiction’? Well, I couldn’t put it better myself. This story could easily be a movie and yet, it has already been acted out in real life. So, in short, I would recommend this book to everyone. It’s about family, the feeling of belonging, and hope. What more could you ask for?
Thank you Liz for sharing your unbelievable story. If you want to find out how to get your hands on a copy, see below:
CLICK HERE for the author’s website
Follow Liz on Instagram: @lizbutlerduren
Happy reading! Lx
Thank you to the author for my copy of All About You: an adopted child’s memoir.