Waiting to Forget: A Memoir

Margaret Moorman, Author
Margaret Moorman, Author W. W. Norton & Company $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-393-03967-2
Reviewed on: 07/29/1996
Release date: 08/01/1996
Paperback - 214 pages - 978-0-393-31783-1
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Moorman (My Sister's Keeper) has written a wrenching and moving account of her teenage pregnancy and her decision to give up her newborn son for adoption. A 15-year-old high-school student in Arlington, Va., she was ignorant of birth control in 1964 when she became pregnant by her boyfriend. He promised to marry her but instead joined the Navy, a move that echoed other losses: her father's unexpected death from a heart attack in 1963 and her sister's repeated hospitalizations for manic-depressive illness. The disapproval of doctors and her moody, withdrawn mother imparted shame and humiliation and induced her to give away her infant son in a ""closed"" adoption (the birth records were sealed). Beset by guilt, sorrow and debilitating depression, she subsequently underwent years of psychotherapy. In 1989, she and her second husband had a daughter named Laura. Moorman writes affectingly of being pregnant at 40 and of her irrational terror of letting Laura out of her sight, a fear she traced to unresolved longing for her first, unknown child. After years spent tracking the by-now grown man down, she finally located him in 1995. His response--that he did not want to see her, at least for the time being--makes for a bittersweet finale. First serial to Washington Post Magazine; author tour. (Aug.)
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