Wednesday, September 7, 2016

No Biking in the House Without a Helmet

Author: Melissa Fay Greene
Stars: 5
Review by: Mandy Apgar

 Melissa and her husband Donny, a criminal defense attorney, think they have things settled when she finds herself pregnant at 46. What is a nice Jewish mom hoping for an empty nest to do? And how does the name "Gideon" sound? Sadly, she loses the baby almost instantly, but it awakens in them a then unspoken desire - although their children are getting towards the age where they will shortly be leaving the house, they want more. An impulse first takes Melissa to Bulgaria where they find the Romany born Christian (later "Jesse"). An expose she writes on the children of AIDS ravaged Ethiopia leads them to their lovely Helen. And then Sol. At that point, once again, they really thought they were done. But when one of their elder biological sons bonds with a pair of Ethiopian brothers, Daniel and Yoseph, out comes the paperwork for numbers 8 and 9. The problems of raising a multicultural family abound - although she readily admits that her family is now the athletic terror squad of their school district - as do a few language barriers and general homesickness for the kids who did have family behind. But as time goes on (and the sky mall products keep beeping away) they find a blended, happy medium. Just don't eat any of Helen's peppers.

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