All About You

All About You

An Adopted Child's Memoir

Non-Fiction - Memoir
178 Pages
Reviewed on 07/18/2017
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Author Biography

Although I found out I was adopted when I was 15, deep in my heart I always knew that I was. I didn't feel unloved, I just felt different. Once I knew the truth I had to have answers, I knew these answers would explain WHO i was and WHY I felt the way I did. The journey was not an easy one, records are sealed, secrets are protected... but giving up was never an option for me.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

All About You: An Adopted Child's Memoir by Liz Butler Duren is the story of a woman who is trying to find her birth mother and, during that journey, she finds herself. Our story follows Liz; she lived a relatively happy and healthy life, until one day she finds out that everything she knew was not true. She found out that she was adopted and she was just a teenager. But that was when her real story began because this was the time in her life she started looking for her mother; the real mother who gave birth to her had given her away.

Even though she was determined, it was not easy to find a woman who did not want to be found. This was just the beginning of her 29-year-long journey in which she will try her best to find her birth mother, try to decipher her identity through old agency documents which further complicate her journey. She has to decode the information and find the truth that reveals the past and the real truth about her family. Can she really do it? Will she ever find her birth mother? What can she do when her birth mother doesn’t want to be found?

Liz Butler Duren handled this story wonderfully as a third party. She gave hard truths and the real story without getting too personal, yet at the same time she succeeded in showing the real emotions behind her words and translating them for readers. This story has a lot of heart and feeling, but it also has humor and a dry wit that set a very natural pace for the book. This is a really enjoyable read, simple yet brilliant, and one that readers will not forget any time soon.

Vernita Naylor

What would you do if one day you discovered that you were adopted? Though we may feel at times ‘this can't be my family, by how you're acting, I must be adopted.’ Or you may hear ‘he or she is the black sheep in the family’ maybe because of how one looks or acts. Either way, it can be difficult to deal with discovering that you’re adopted. All About You: An Adopted Child's Memoir displays how author Liz Butler Duren sets out on a journey to discover who she really is. She knew that something was different about her in comparison to her family, but one day her suspicions came to light. As you walk through Liz Butler Duren’s battle of self-discovery, you will see and feel the elements of love, fear, disappointments and acceptance that she went through in locating her mother. It's her persistence for the truth that led her to the answers that she sought.

This book was an eye opener because of how hurtful and challenging it must be to find out that you're adopted. Yes, you may have had a great life with your adopted family that you grew up with, but you would still have a lot of questions? Why me? Was I the only one adopted in the family? Do I have other siblings? Do my parents miss me? Who am I? Would my life have been better or worse if I hadn't been adopted? There are so many questions that can swirl through your mind with such a discovery. This book is a great catalyst and example of what it takes to muddle through the challenges and to get the results that you desire. Remember, if this is you opening this Pandora's Box, it can be full of surprises and it may not provide you with the desired outcome that you seek. Proceed carefully and cautiously.

Alyssa Elmore

What would you do if you found out you were adopted? Would you be hurt? Or angry? Would you search for your "what-if" family? Or be grateful and content with the family that took you as their own? All About You: An Adopted Child's Memoir by Liz Butler Duren is a stirring first-person narrative about a young woman's shocking discovery and subsequent search to find her second family. Elizabeth Butler has lived the privileged life of the only girl and second child of two. What Liz wants, Liz gets. She is bright, outgoing, and determined. Liz is also very emotional, dramatic, and sensitive. In her small family of four, Liz's extreme personality stands out. As a young child, Liz felt that something was wrong. Almost as if she didn't belong; she was out of place in her family. As she gets older, Liz realizes that she even looks different than the rest of her family. A small voice inside her head tells her that things aren't as they seem. It whispers that her mom and dad are lying to her, but how can they be? Upon asking, Daddy shows Liz her official birth certificate. Everything matches up. She is their child. Despite the documented proof, Liz listens to the little voice urging her to keep looking. Whenever she can, she searches for more evidence that she is adopted. At fifteen, her friend suggests a sure way to lay the matter to rest. When Liz tests her friend's method, the results are not what she expects. Will she be able to pick up the pieces of her world that suddenly lie shattered at her feet? Is the truth worth the pain and misunderstandings that ensue?

All About You: An Adopted Child's Memoir by Liz Butler Duren is the moving real life story of a teenage girl who learns she is adopted and her twenty-nine-year search for her birth mother. Liz takes the reader back to the beginning; to the summer of 1968. As a six-month-old baby, Liz is lovingly welcomed into the Butler home. When she is a small child, her parents explain to her that she is adopted, only, she suddenly develops a stutter. At the advice of their physician, they decide to avoid future discussions of her adoption at all costs, including lying. Sadly, Liz's subconscious holds on to the earth-shaking information and torments her whenever it can. Her parents, concerned for her emotional well-being, refuse to tell her the truth. This book takes the reader on Liz's journey to uncover the truth she already knows, and finally find closure and harmony within herself, her family, and her life. By facing the truth, Liz can, at last, be free to completely accept her adoptive family for who they are, and the unique love that they gave her so willingly.

This book is well-written, with a surprising lack of anger and bitterness usually found in such books. I love that the author realizes that her adopted family really did do the best they could, and did love her in their special way. Although there were a few rough patches and painful moments, the story is one of hope, love, and discovery. It is truly inspirational and healing. I would recommend this book to those that enjoy memoirs, are searching for their adoptive parents, or just looking for a good read.