Not An Uncommon Experience

I was surprised to find an adoption story in Isabel Allende’s new book A Long Petal Of The Sea.  It is a “familiar” story for me, steeped as I am in Georgia Tann lore.  It happened often that a young woman was told by Tann her baby had died when in fact it had been taken and adopted out.  My own mom believed she had been taken from her original parents by a deceptive story and then transported from Virginia to Memphis TN.

The young woman in Allende’s story is unwed and has been sent away to have her baby in secrecy at a convent.  Though initially willing to give her baby up for adoption she then announces that she will not give her baby up for adoption.  She says that she plans to raise it.  So then, she is drugged senseless, which continues for some time even after the birth.  When she is lucid again, she is told the baby died shortly after birth, strangled by the umbilical cord.

I will have to finish the book to see if that baby turns up later in the story as having actually having been adopted.  That would not surprise me in the least.

I read a rather harsh criticism of this book but as a lover of history and other cultures
with some hispanic background having grown up on the Mexican border, I am enjoying her story immensely.  It is decidedly a woman’s kind of tale.

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