Lipman, Elinor. Then She Found Me. Read by Mia Barron. BBC Audiobooks America, 2007.
Reason read: Lipman celebrates a birthday in October. Read in her honor.
In a nutshell: April Epner is a very single high school Latin teacher. All her life she has known she was adopted as a newborn. She had a good relationship with her Holocaust survivor parents and never really questioned her birth parents. What she didn’t know until she was in her 30s is that her biological mother is none other than Bernice Graverman, star of her own over-the-top talk show: Bernice G! When Bernice takes over April’s life by storm with her gaudy jewelry, loud outfits, glitzy lifestyle and overly aggressive matchmaking schemes April barely questions Bernice’s authenticity as her biological mother. I found that really odd. Instead, April allows Bernice to constantly call her at work, butt into her personal life, and wreak havoc – all for the sake of being the mom Bernice says she always knew she could. The entire time I was reading Then She Found Me I wanted to know why April & Bernice didn’t apply for DNA testing. HLA & PCR tests were both available in the 90s. It definitely comes up when April’s biological father comes back into the picture.
As an aside, this was the first time I didn’t care for the audio. I don’t know if it was the narrator (Mia Barron), as she was overly dramatic and made me dislike all female characters, or the possibility the book wasn’t meant to be read aloud because the dialogue was just so…what’s the word?…dramatic? Also, Jack’s New Hampshire (?) accent was terrible! Think exaggerated John F. Kennedy.
Author fact: According to the inside cover of Then She Found Me Lipman lived in western Massachusetts at the time of publication. No wonder she mentioned such places as Northampton & the gates of Smith College with ease. According to her website she mostly lives in New York now.
Book trivia: Then She Found Me was made into a movie starring Bette Midler. I keep saying I haven’t seen it, but I think I actually have…if there is a scene where Bette is being so mean to her daughter that the daughter has no choice but to disconnect (the healthiest thing for both of them). I remember the last scene of the movie is a wedding…same as the book.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Elinor Lipman: Too Good To Miss” (p 146).