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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.