Paige Adams Strickland, a teacher and writer from Cincinnati, Ohio, is married with two daughters. Her first book, Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity, is about growing up in the 1960s-80s (Baby-Scoop Era) and searching for her first identity. It is also the story of her adoptive family and in particular her father’s struggles to figure out his place in the world while Paige strives to find hers. After hours she enjoys family and friends, pets, reading, Zumba ™ Fitness, gardening and baseball.
Akin to the Truth is Paige’s own memoir about her adoption. In 1961, adoption was still one of those private and taboo topics. Not much identifying information was provided for adoptive families or for birth parents by the agencies. In Ohio, records were sealed forever. Adoptees and birth mothers were supposed to be thankful for the adoptive family and never look back. Adoptive parents thought their deal was signed and sealed.
As a child and teenager, growing up adopted was like a Scarlet Letter "A" if anyone ever found out the truth. At least, that's the way author, Paige Strickland felt as she muddled through social situations and other interpersonal relations. She always loved her adoptive family, but realized she wanted not just more, but what other "regular born" people had: real roots, accurate health history and authentic family lore. She wanted freedom from shame, more dignity, authenticity and a full identity.
Then, through random chance, a local TV talk show in 1987 revealed that certain records were open if you were born before 1964 in the state of Ohio, and the author's life would never be the same after that program.
During her quest, (pre computer), for her identity, her adoptive father struggled with his own self image and sense of belonging, so both father and daughter embarked on separate and unique parallel missions to find what was missing in their lives.
This is the story of how being adopted affected Paige growing up in the 1960s, 70s and early 80s. It shows how one adoptee has embraced and learned to view family more globally. She tells the saga of a loving but dysfunctional family of both blood and choice, trying to cope with typical and not so typical life alterations during the decades of social revolution and free love. She learns that the most fascinating family stories are discovered by those passionate enough to question and search.Paperback: 285 PagesPublisher: Idealized Apps, LLC (September 8, 2013)ASIN: B00F28TM86Twitter Hashtag: #AkinStrickland
Additional Notes: Akin to the Truth has been featured by memoirists Kathleen Pooler (http://www.krpooler.com/2013/
10/09/how-i-got-ideas-for-my- memoir-akin-to-the-truth-a- memoir-of-adoption-and- identity-by-paige-strickland/) and Mary Gottschalk. Back in October, Angie’s Diary (http://angiesdiary.com/ writing-creativity/interviews/ paige-strickland-alone/) gave a promo and Paige received recognition from Sonia Marsh (http://soniamarsh.com/2012/ 09/my-gutsy-story-by-paige- strickland.html#comments). Mariette Williams at Those Four Little Words provided a feature this spring (http://thosefourlittlewords. com) and most recently, Dayton, OH adoptee and writer, Lynn Grubb, feature Akin to the Truth and reviewed it on her site, Lost Daughters. In Paige’s hometown, radio DJ, Jeanine Coyle from WGRR 103.5 had Paige live on the air speaking to a local book group about Akin to the Truth.Chapter 14 from Akin to the Truth came in 3rd place out of 200 entries and was featured on the scinti website in 2010 ( http://www.scinti.com/ family-reunion/)_. Adoptive parent and blogger, Jane Ballback also featured the same story on her site in 2012 (http:// adoptionvoicesmagazine.com/ secrets/family-reunion-part- one/#.U3rOpuZdW3k)!Finding Paige online:Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ AkintotheTruthTwitter – https://twitter.com/ plastrickland23Akin to the Truth Website - http://www.akintothetruth.com/
Review by Crystal Otto:
Though I enjoy reading memoir, Akin to the Truth doesn’t read like your typical memoir. Author, Paige Strickland does a fabulous job of storytelling and doesn’t miss a single detail or emotion as she introduces you to her life. This is not just a story about her adoption; this is an interesting and entertaining glimpse into the life of a resilient and strong author. I’m sure Strickland will find her voice again in future publications. She is a talented author and storyteller.
Strickland keeps your attention through and through. It’s hard to imagine she had ever kept her adoption a secret as she vividly tells the entire tale in Akin to the Truth. The emotions conveyed in Strickland’s writing are incredibly real to the reader. For example you aren’t just reading about her fear and jubilation about having siblings, you get goose bumps and your heart rate races right along with her. Akin to the Truth is expertly written as the reader is drawn into Strickland’s real life!
Strickland describes her family so expertly; she brings the characters to life with such grace and beauty (particularly her grandmothers). Such descriptions and detail brought Akin to the Truth to life for me as a reader. As I read, I found myself drawn into her story but became increasingly curious about my own family. How will my oldest (a girl) describe my relationship with my sons (the two youngest)? I look at things a little differently now and I’m more cautious about my children’s feelings and how they might view my relationship with their siblings. In particular, Strickland describes her brother as her mother’s clone and that stopped me in my tracks. As an only child, I guess I was oblivious to this emotional side of siblings. I think it’s a testament to Strickland’s writing ability being able to draw me into her book while also drawing me into my own life and looking at things a bit differently.
Reviewer, Crystal Otto, is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 7, Andre 6, Breccan 8 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at:http://bringonlemons.
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