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5+ stars for Finding Karen Black: Roots Become Wings by Diane Bay #memoir #adoption #bookreview

Title: Finding Karen Black: Roots Become Wings

Author: Diane Bay

Genre: Memoir, Adoption, Nonfiction

Book Blurb:

Finding Karen Black begins with the delightful discovery of a famous birth mother. But Karen’s fame didn’t change her daughter’s life—Karen’s love did. In 1959, Karen Black gave up a newborn daughter to adoption. While Karen pursued a career in acting that led her to Hollywood, her child grew up near Chicago. For five decades they knew nothing about each other. In 2011, Illinois opened their sealed adoption records, and Diane sent for her original birth certificate. She was amazed to discover that her birth mother was the actress whose unconventional beauty had captured the zeitgeist of the ’60s and ’70s cinema. Karen starred in some of the decades’ prominent films including Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Great Gatsby, Airport 1975, and many more. Diane messaged Karen on Facebook, and Karen responded with joyful acceptance. Their reunion was healing but bittersweet, because it came at a pivotal moment: they had exactly one year to deepen their mother-daughter bond before Karen lost her battle with cancer. Finding Karen Black: Roots Become Wings takes the reader on an emotional journey from childhood longing to dream fulfilled, and from the first moments of a joyful reunion through a year of discovery, loss, and renewal. This remarkable story is a testament to the power of the mother-child bond, the importance of our roots, and the belief that love lasts forever.

My Review:

A daughter yearning for a mother's love discovers her birth mother was not only famous but wanting a genuine relationship. All Diane wanted was a chance to get to know her birth mother, nothing more. Growing up adopted is never easy. So many unanswered questions, so many unknown details, and at the heart of it is a daughter wanting to know anything she can about her mother and what lead to her being put up for adoption. When Diane learns her mother is a cultural icon, an actress from the 60s and 70s, she's not sure what her mother's response will be. What happens next is overwhelmingly beautiful and tragic. The following year is one of love, acceptance, heartbreak, and what might have been. For Diane, finding her birth mother taught her the most valuable lesson of all.

Finding Karen Black is a heartwarming true story about one woman's search for her birth mother. This book took me by surprise with emotional timbre, honest emotions, and depth of feeling. While I was not adopted, by the time I finished reading Finding Karen Black, I experienced what it was like for Diane. Such bravery to write about such a personal journey. The book reads like a memoir from a friend. Through immersive writing, descriptive narration, and stark imagery, Finding Karen Black expertly weaves a mother-daughter story, unlike anything I've read before. Diane Bay has a way with words, and she speaks with authority, love, and compassion. I truly loved reading Finding Karen Black and I know many readers will share my sentiment. If you're looking for a story that will make you cry, pick up Finding Karen Black. If memoirs are your reading jam, you'll want to read Finding Karen Black. One of the best memoirs I've ever read. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5+ stars

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Author Biography:

Diane Bay is an artist and writer. She studied creative writing at College of DuPage where she received her Associate Degree. Like her birth mother Karen, Diane loves life and lives in the present moment. Oil painting is her passion. Diane currently lives in western Kentucky and is an active member of the Paducah Area Painters Alliance and other creative groups. She and her husband, Rich, have three adult sons and four grandchildren.

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N


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