Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Homes is a memoir by Paula McLain about she and her two sisters growing up together in foster care. It is heartbreaking and melancholy and hopeful all at once.
Some of the places the sisters stayed were horrid. Some were sweet. But the impermanence and uncertainty of their situation was profound.
I can’t really come to the right words about this memoir. If I’m being honest, after finishing one particular chapter I was so upset by it I had to put it down and read something else for a few days. But I felt like I needed to know how the story played out, so I returned to finish it. And while there is hardly a movie-like, loose-ends-tied ending, you do get a sense of closure – a sense of hope.
I am a memoir junkie, and understand that’s not true for everyone. But if you enjoy memoirs, or if you have any interest at all in foster or adoptive care, it is a worthwhile read. Just have some chocolate or a glass of wine nearby. You may need it along the way.