IF YOU COULD SEE ME NOW by Michael Mewshaw

On the heels of Monday’s post about memoirs comes If You Could See Me Now, by Michael Mewshaw, about the appearance of the daughter that he gave up for adoption 30 years earlier.  Here is a description of the book from the publisher:

When Menshaw_1Michael Mewshaw receives a call from a stranger who says she has reason to believe he is her biological father, Mewshaw realizes he has been half dreading, half hoping for this to happen for over thirty years. Just like the young woman who wants to find the last piece to the puzzle of her life, he thinks it’s possible that in the same process he will discover the answer to questions that have plagued him for decades. But first he has to make sure that she is who she claims to be.

In this fascinating memoir, Mewhsaw confronts his own past, the chaos of his family, and complicated memories of the woman he once loved who went on to success as an ambassador, Under Secretary of State and a member of one of America’s most influential families. His unusual role in the baby’s birth, her adoption and, now, her search for her biological parents sets the stage for a revealing personal odyssey that offers a quest for identity and a journey of discovery, an obsession with recapturing the past and righting old wrongs, the constant potential for disappointment balanced against the possibility of redemption. As he finds his old flame and her old lover, rediscovering who he was and who he has become, he finds his life enriched in the process.

Entertainment Weekly gave the book a B+, calling it “the Anti-Rashomon, an intricate story told solely from the singular perspective that fascinates most as a character study of Mewshaw himself.”  Amazon reader reviews are very positive too. And here is a review from The Denver Post.

What I find intriguing about this book is that the adopted-child-searches-for-birth-parent story is so often told from the child’s perspective that it’s rare to get a sense of what the parents were thinking, either at the time they gave the child up or at the reunion. This book is an unusual glimpse into the birth father’s experiences at both points in his life, and his attempt to resolve the deeply conflicted feelings he felt during the years separating the two.

OK, next time, back to fiction. I promise.