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Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir of Being Found
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Ithaka: A Daughter's Memoir of Being Found

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The voice on the other end of the line was soft, yet forthright: "Sarah, my name is Hannah Morgan. I think I'm your birth mother."

The phone call, wholly unexpected, instantly turned Sarah Saffian's world upside-down, threatening her sense of family, identity, self. Adopted as an infant twenty-three years before, living happily in New York, Sarah had been "found" by her bio
Paperback, 324 pages
Published October 12th 1999 by Delta (first published January 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

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Jul 07, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: birth parents, adoptees
Shelves: read-in-2008
I wish my birth daughter would read this book. This book was helpful for me to be able to understand (a little) where she is coming from & why she doesn't want any contact with me at this point. I think all birth parents & adoptees should read it.
Oct 09, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: biog-and-memoir
The title of this book is taken from C. P. Cavafy’s poem, “Ithaka,” which was read at Jacqueline Kennedy’s funeral. “Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for, But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.” Sarah Saffian recounts her journey over 2 years in getting to know her birth parents. Born Susan Morgan ...more
Jan 03, 2009 Priscilla rated it really liked it
Like the author, I too was adopted in 1969. Instead of having been found, I searched, with mixed results. I think Saffian does not realize how fortunate she is to have been loved and wanted by both sets of parents, adoptive and biological. She has no idea how devastating a second rejection can be. Although her experience and perspective is very different from my own, it was interesting to follow her narrative to see what, if anything, she had learned, how she had changed.

A good first pass at wh
Angela Nixon
May 29, 2011 Angela Nixon rated it really liked it
As an adoptee, this book was very moving for me. I have often wondered how I would react if my birth parents suddenly appeared in my life, so it was interesting to read someone's account of that happening. I would definitely recommend this book to other adoptees, as well as adoptive parents and birth parents who gave a child up. But keep the Kleenex handy.
Jul 30, 2013 Brendabor rated it it was amazing
If you have experienced or are considering adoption, you should read this book! It really captures the complexities of being adopted and balancing relationships with birth parents and adoptive parents.
May 13, 2015 Lori rated it liked it
Started off well. Very engrossing and interesting. But then became repetitive and slow. The pay off in the end was too brief and more of an epilogue.
I wanted to read some non-fiction books after all those science fiction/adventure ones I've been reading, so I picked up two biographies. This one is about a woman who had been adopted as a baby, and years later around her 24th birthday her birth mother calls her. Its a bit different of a perspective for her to have been found by her birth parents rather than for her to search for them. It explores her confusion and emotions at this experience. Another unusual aspect of this woman's situation is ...more
Jan 02, 2015 Holly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a few years since I read this book, but as a reunited adoptee, my dislike for this book burns brightly. The journey to one's parents or they to you, is pretty epic stuff; it is a literary vein of gold. And yet, this author manages to squander all the material fate delivers her. She shows herself to be a vainglorious cool kid who turns up her nose at her biological parents, deciding her adoptive family to be, well, just better. It's a middle school effort and it does nobody in this tale ...more
Jim Lavis
Feb 21, 2016 Jim Lavis rated it really liked it
I registered to take a writing workshop with this author, so I thought I should read one of her books before attending the workshop. This memoir is a story about a woman that put her daughter up for adoption and the challenges they have finding each other and reuniting after 27 years. it's truly a well written book, but the experiences she had were so different from the experience I had finding my birth family. I believe this woman is a bit of a control freak, so we'll see how the workshop goes. ...more
Apr 28, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it
This book isn't just for adoptees and their adoptive families. I think its about families and relationships in general. the author doesn't jump into a sudden relationship with her birth family but carefully examines her feelings about her childhood and her parents--both adoptive and birth before going for a visit. I liked the author and found her story engrossing. Its a quick read.
Salvia rated it liked it
Jul 31, 2012
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