The Bond

How a Mixed Bag of Foster Kids Became a Family for Life

Non-Fiction - Memoir
234 Pages
Reviewed on 08/15/2021
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Author Biography

A.M. Grotticelli is a veteran technology trade journalist who resides in suburban New Jersey. After a life of overcoming similar challenges, he is a avid supporter of foster kids aging out of the foster care system at 18 and provides encouragement to all who need it.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

The Bond is a work of memoir writing by A.M. Grotticelli. What does it mean to be a family? To be part of a family? Is it a bond that’s established at birth between birth parents and their natural children? Or is it a bond that can be formed between totally unrelated people, brought together to formulate an existence through no fault of their own? Michael had a natural family, but when his mother became sick with cancer and his father, a piano player and a drunk, could no longer care for him or his siblings, they were given away. Michael was put into an orphanage and later moved into a foster home to spend his remaining formative years with foster parents and other foster children. He never really felt the bond of love that ties a family together. However, like the other children in his foster home, Michael survived and managed to live a good life once he left home, raising children of his own with the care, love, and respect they deserved.

A.M. Grotticelli’s memoir, The Bond, is a heart-wrenching, powerful reflection on a complicated life growing up in a foster home. Writing in the first person, the author reveals the pain and sorrows buried deep in his heart, unburdening his soul as he shares his story, one of abandonment and devoid of family care and love. His narrative is told with care and attention to detail, complete with dialogue and in-depth descriptive passages to thoroughly and effectively place the reader in the setting. Although there was much love lost in his growing up years, the bond of family formed differently when the foster children in the same home as Michael formed their own type of family. It was a bond that continued past the years spent in the home. Of all the essential things Michael learned in this experience, it was the importance of a child’s self-worth and his/her need to be loved and respected. As he concludes in his memoir, Michael says: “Today, in my own household, I make sure my kids have a feeling of self-worth. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, and everyone’s voice is heard and listened to.” A poignant story indeed.

Emma Megan

The Bond is A.M. Grotticelli's memoir that contains a heartbreaking story of a group of eight foster kids who longed all their childhood to belong to a family. A.M. Grotticelli lays out his struggles growing up in an abusive orphanage and a foster care home, always craving love, affection, and stability that only a family could offer. When he was seven years old, Grotticelli and his brothers were placed by their alcoholic father in an orphanage for neglected children called St. Michael’s Home after their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eventually, they ended up in a foster care home, where they met other kids who came from different dysfunctional backgrounds. All of them fought to be part of a family, knowing they were not related by blood.

The Bond by A.M. Grotticelli is an unforgettable portrayal of abandonment and exploitation that only foster kids will understand. This captivating real-life story covers painful experiences that reveal profound feelings of disappointment, rejection, confusion, and hope. Grotticelli's writing is honest, straightforward, and filled with affection for his comrades. I enjoyed reading this book mainly because I could sense Grotticelli's strong attachment to the other kids through his moving way of describing all the experiences that shaped them. This powerful memoir explores themes like emotional abuse, broken promises, and the need to please others to be accepted and loved. But most importantly, it shows how a group of broken kids forged a remarkable bond that will remain forever intact and envied even by biological families.