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The Missing Pieces of Us

Once again Fleur McDonald has selected an emotionally challenging issue as the basis for her latest work, that of adoption and the far reaching effect of finding a birth mother when illness strikes.

Skye Ramsey comes from a loving family, the younger of two siblings, but hits a downhill emotional trajectory when she turns fourteen. She is trying to discover her self-worth, not really understanding why there are so many years between her and her brother. Perhaps her parents didn’t really want her; perhaps her mother doesn’t love her.

Her friends are not all that helpful and when she accepts a dare set by a friend she discovers what this ‘friendship’ is all about.  When Skye is caught shoplifting,  Tamara, a woman who has her own demons to conquer, offers Skye a part time position in her shop and also a safe haven from the ‘destructive friendships’ she has inadvertently formed.

Skye’s mother Lauren is facing challenges of her own, both in her workplace and on a personal level, and when she has a melanoma checked out and discovers it is malignant, requiring urgent surgery, the entire family is thrown into emotional upheaval.

Lauren has always understood she was adopted. Over the years she has made several half-hearted attempts to find her birth mother, partly out of curiosity and also out of the desire to see if the melanoma’s she has been aware of for several years could possibly be genetic.

Tamara (Tara) Thompson, the child of a father on a destructive, controlling rage, was thrown out of her home at a young age having to learn to survive on the streets. She has spent many, many years learning how to trust again, sometime not very successfully. Her mother, whom she has not seen since that fateful evening arrives at her shop, telling her that her father, informing her when the funeral will be held.

This takes her back to an emotional place she thought she had left behind, and in the healing process that begins after the funeral, she is told by her mother she has also been adopted.

How these three very diverse women come together, despite trying to deal with their own emotional issues, makes a telling and loving story of friendship, crisis, family and the eternal bond that lies between mothers and their children, regardless of the circumstance.

Beautifully written, Fleur McDonald has shown a depth of understanding about a very topical issue bringing a very emotional component of modern history, often kept locked away within families, into the light.

AuthorFleur McDonald
PublisherAllen and Unwin/Arena
DistributorAllen and Unwin
ReleasedMarch 2017