cover image Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir

Everything You Ever Wanted: A Memoir

Jillian Lauren. Plume, $16 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-0-14-218163-8

Los Angeles author Lauren (Some Girls; Pretty) again demonstrates her keen ability to transform unusual experiences into brave writerly fodder. Married to a rock musician who established on the first date that he was looking to start a family, Lauren eagerly left her life as a drug-abusing exotic dancer to embrace a more conventional lifestyle as a homemaking wife in the upscale Los Angeles suburb of Eagle Rock—albeit as the tattooed wife of Weezer’s bass player. Unable to conceive a child, they tried fertility treatments and all manner of alternative remedies until, Lauren, in her 30s, decided it was time to consider adoption—a process she was familiar with, having being been adopted herself. Her husband, Scott, was more wary, yet eventually embraced the idea of adopting a boy from Ethiopia. While the actual adoption went smoothly, and the year-old boy, Tariku, was healthy and bright, he had some trauma-related issues involving attachment and aggression. Lauren describes Tariku as a toddler prone to biting and hitting, which got him expelled from several groups and schools, and explains how she and Scott got help in implementing non-punitive techniques to ensure their son felt loved and safe while teaching him more sociable behaviors. This is a heartfelt story of a very real mom whose own baggage and fears did not hinder her from becoming a caring, suitable parent to a child with special needs. (May)