Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts” as Want to Read:
The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Catherine McKinley was one of only a few thousand African American and bi-racial children adopted by white couples in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Raised in a small, white New England town, she grew up with a persistent longing. After a five-year search marked by disappointment, she finds her birth mother and a half-sister named Sarah, the name originally given to her. ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2003 by Counterpoint (first published March 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Book of Sarahs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Book of Sarahs

Caucasia by Danzy SennaThe Color of Water by James McBrideThe Human Stain by Philip RothBlack White & Jewish by Rebecca WalkerRoots by Alex Haley
Mixed Race Readings
81st out of 101 books — 58 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakThe Notebook by Nicholas SparksOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotBook of a Thousand Days by Shannon HaleThe Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Books With 'Book' In The Title
389th out of 391 books — 65 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 266)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Cy
I read this during a multiracial literature frenzy I went on, most of which consisted of narratives and fictional perspectives from various points of black-white biraciality. This book stood out to me because it has more layers, and deals with more shades of gray more wholeheartedly than other books I came across. It's a story of biraciality in the context of transracial/cultural adoption, and therefore also a coming to terms with family concepts/finding roots story, and all of this occurs on ma ...more
Linda
Catherine McKinley grew up in suburban Boston as the adopted half-black child of white parents. She had a very hard time dealing with being “different” from her parents and her adopted brother, who was white. As an adult, she began searching for her birth mother, but ran in to all the usual difficulties – sealed records, uncooperative social workers, etc. Eventually she found her birth mother, Estie Kahn, a Jewish woman who had been hospitalized with mental problems about the time when Catherine ...more
Akeisha
It took me some time to get into this book. When it began I did not feel very interested, then as the story progressed I was sucked into McKinley's journey of self-discovery.

The beginning of the book deals much with her self-loathing and feelings of being an outsider. To me McKinley sounded whiny and ungrateful, but her easy writing style kept me with the novel until the intriguing part of her seeking her birth parents. Once the book moves it carries it's reader through until the very end. You
...more
Sisters of the Desert Sun
Sisters of the Desert Sun met today to discuss "The Book of Sarahs". Catherine E. McKinley was able to translate the pain of longing and self-identity for trans-racially adopted children most effectively. Her story is a powerful one that transcends her unique circumstances and actually speaks to us all regarding the difficulties we face defining ourselves as we come into our adulthood. I don't want to give away what made us keep turning the pages, anxious to find out what happened next. We highl ...more
Allie Mullin
i read an uncorrected proof and was intrigued by catherine's story, but i had some trouble relating to it (i'm multiracial, and grew up in a mixed household and had 'access' to both of my racial identities). i understood her frustration and anger towards her families for what they lacked, and her struggle to solidify her personal identity as she discovered more about these estranged parents and siblings. an interesting read!
rebekah
May 23, 2008 rebekah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: writers, mixed people, adoptees, people who like a good story
Recommended to rebekah by: My sister
I loved this book. Made me want to write one too. I love bi-racial personal memoirs. And this one actually had a great true story of how the author's search for family, self, and sexuality formed her into the awesome woman she is today. Very impressed.
Meg Petersen
This was definitely interesting and held my attention through all the plot twists of this real life story. It got me thinking about secrets and how much we want to know about our own origins.
Yolanda
Slow at first, still waiting for the good part, it never really picked up. She really needed to split this story into two books.
Psalm
She dropped some knowledge on me that gave me moments of contemplation that left me satisfied.
Precious Williams
Read this several years ago. It is soooo well-written and poignant.
Tammy
Tammy marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2015
Mary Beth
Mary Beth marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
N.T.
N.T. marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Shannon
Shannon marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Megan Hebert
Megan Hebert marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2015
Maggie Graham
Maggie Graham marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2015
Krista
Krista marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2015
Jill T.
Jill T. marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2015
Marcia
Marcia marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
Caitlin O'Neil
Caitlin O'Neil marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2015
Hollie
Hollie marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2015
Gail
Gail marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2015
Shalini
Shalini marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
Stephanie
Stephanie marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
Linda
Linda marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2015
Tonya
Tonya marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
Stacey Rogers
Stacey Rogers marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Susan Hipp
Susan Hipp marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Laura Multer
Laura Multer marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Black Baby White Hands: A View from the Crib
  • Inside Transracial Adoption
  • The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption
  • Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption
  • My Favorite Things
  • In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories
  • Daughter of the Ganges: A Memoir
  • The Favorite Daughter
  • B-Mother
  • Lost & Found: The Adoption Experience
  • My Fathers' Daughter
  • Ambiguous Loss: Learning to Live with Unresolved Grief
  • Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents
  • A Single Square Picture
  • Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away
  • Author: A True Story
  • Stevie
  • Curly Like Me: How to Grow Your Hair Healthy, Long, and Strong
Indigo: In Search of the Color That Seduced the World Afrekete: An Anthology of Black Lesbian Writing The Book of Sarahs Go the Way Your Blood Beats: An Anthology of Lesbian and Gay Literary Fiction by African-American Writers

Share This Book