A little break from our month’s project today with my stop on the blog tour for Two Voices, One Story, by Elaine Rizzo and her daughter Amy Masters.
I would like to thank Rachel at autoright for including me in this blog tour! Without further ado, here is an extract and my review!
Title: Two Voices, One Story
Author: Elaine Rizzo and Amy Masters
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
First date of publication: 2017
Number of pages: 144
This is the true story of a girl called Amy and the English “mother” who adopted her from an institute in China when she was just a baby.
It’s a story about love, family and identity; and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.
When Amy came to be adopted in 1999, China’s then notorious one-child policy had given rise to a generation of missing girls. Amy was one of them, destined to life in an orphanage if she was lucky enough to survive. That is, until she was adopted by a loving British couple who were desperate to give her the home she deserved; Elaine and Lee.
In this moving autobiography, Amy and Elaine chart their own personal experiences of their shared adoption story. Theirs is not a political account, but one which is open about the challenges of adopting a child from a foreign country and the long journey that follows; from China to the UK and from infancy through to adolescence, as Amy and her new family learn and grow together.
Now a bright and ambitious young woman on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Amy is braced for an exciting journey into adulthood, one which her proud mother is delighted to be able to share.
Two Voices, One Story is a frank but uplifting account of the complex adoption process and the profound relationship between a mother and her adopted child.
“At first when she went to sleep, Amy would hold her hands firmly clasped together, with her arms close to her body, as though they had been tied together. When she was awake, she would also play little games with her fingers to amuse herself, as this was clearly the only stimulation which had previously been available to her.
Gradually, with gentle care, attention and proper stimulation, Amy’s behavior began to stop and she began to take an interest in what was around her.
I also wanted Amy to learn to trust me and to realise that I had come into her life to be her mother, so to love and care for her, putting her needs before my own.
When we first got Amy, she didn’t put her arms out to be picked up and cuddled, perhaps because there hadn’t been any point before. One day after we’d been home a few weeks, she spontaneously put her arms up round me, laid her head against my chest and hugged me very tightly.
I knew then that we had made a huge breakthrough in our relationship.”
This extract from the book deals with when Amy was brought home to England and how our mother/daughter began to develop at very first, including some of the effects of her period as a tiny baby in the Welfare Centre.
Two voices One Story brings to life the story of Amy, adopted when she was a baby, and her mother’s journey through the maze that is the whole process of adopting.
Most of their lives are told through Elaine’s narration, which makes sense as baby Amy would have had little communication issues to let people know what she thought about it all! Amy’s insights are light and her voice is filled with the hope of a young and healthy teenager with a life ahead of her.
The beginning made me feel very emotional, as Elaine explains how she ended up choosing to adopt. Her experience was very moving and resonated in me in an extremely personal way. Women were created to make babies, so what happens when they can’t? And does bringing babies into the world make women mothers? All those thoughts came to me as I learned about Elaine’s fate and her decision to have her baby in a different way. I found this first part emotionally intense and cleverly described.
Unfortunately, the story I thought would shed some light on the adoption process itself and the life of parents and child with what some still see as a difference compared to children born from their parents’ activities turned into a beautiful tale of a mother and daughter’s life, but with only little information on the main subject. I had hundreds of questions but the paperwork was rushed two a few pages where I was told it took 2 years in total, and then a baby, a name, a country later and Amy was with her parents. The description of the parents’ first meeting with Amy was adorable, cute, weird and filled with all the emotions you can imagine, but soon, I found myself reading about their wandering into town, wondering if I had missed an episode, the change being so abrupt and unexpected.
The feeling lingered throughout the remaining of the book. It was nice to hear how Amy grew up, but it sounded like any other childhood and I wondered I had grabbed the wrong book. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy Amy wasn’t faced with the issues many adopted children have to face, but I wanted more. I wanted to know when Amy had been told about her adoption, whether or not her parents had chosen to allow her to keep links with her birth country and culture, if and how Amy had reacted to the hardships thrown at her because of her identity, and all those questions you don’t dare to ask to parents of adopted kids sometimes because it doesn’t feel right. It was a nice story, but I was left with so many questions about what made this book special and why they had chosen to emphasize the adoption in the synopsis to eventually let it aside in the story. If you are looking for a sweet tale about mother-daughter bonding, you will probably enjoy Two Voices, One Story, just don’t expect a full adoption experience, as I felt the subject stayed on the superficial side all the way.
Elaine Rizzo (Elaine Masters) works in finance as a licensed insolvency practitioner for ClearDebt a company based in Manchester. Her daughter Amy Masters is now eighteen and at college. She enjoys art and design and her ambition is to become a photographer when she graduates. Both now live near Cardigan in West Wales.
You can find other information and reviews about the book in the different blog tour stops!