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Zinnhouse Book Review

Published October 20, 2015 | By: Lauren Zinn

Though not an interfaith book, this story has inter-ness all over it. Interracial, intercultural, international. Such inter-connectedness is a hallmark of the interfaith movement. This mom deserves gratitude for paving an inter-way.

Mary Koral’s memoir of motherhood spans the adoption of three children, each from a different country, at a time when international adoption was rare. Her story provides not only a deeper understanding of adoption in general, and of international adoption in particular, but of the essence of motherhood. Her writing lures us in with a wise and poetic voice, a keen perception of people, and a strong sense of the places she calls home. While her tapestry highlights interracial and intercultural threads, the whole is greater than its parts, and the weaving masterful...


Reviews on

5.0 out of 5 stars - A book worthy of your time
October 28, 2015

Ms. Koral's book engaged me from page one. Through her journey, you experience a range of emotions unlikely to be a part of most families. We each have a perception of what constitutes family, we live in a circle of friends, we know the expectations of our community, this book opened my heart and mind to the larger world of international adoption. My view of family and love has grown from reading this book Ms. Koral's writing engulfed me, I couldn't put the book down, it was as if I was there through it all. This is a book you don't want to miss.

5.0 out of 5 stars - I loved this book
Dorothy H. Elliott on December 5, 2015
I loved this book. Mary's writing reflects how she speaks, shares and gives loving "advice" or insight. Having heard her story unfold over the past 12-15 years while in a "Mom's of adopted children of color" support group, this is the very real story of their lives together. She tells it like it is, no holds barred. EVERY adoptive family or potential adoptive family should read this. We face many of the same issues Mary and her family have and do face(d).

5.0 out of 5 stars - Love Always Wins
By AnnevM on November 16, 2015
Just finished this book and am in awe. Masterful achievement. Would be good for those drawn to adoption, multicultural parenting, literature, and memoir. As this family faced about ten years of challenges, their love kept them moving ahead. Some of my favorite parts are roasted chicken with rosemary, the calm San Diego flight, take-out Korean food, and all things Mary and Ken. Congratulations, Mary Koral!

5.0 out of 5 stars - Any Mother
December 13, 2015
Finally finished reading this wonderfully written book. Whether our children are born to us naturally or not, a mother’s love and strength will always endure. I think any mother can relate to any portion of this triumphant family.

Source: Book Listing (reviews section)

Reviews on Goodreads

Cathy Schultis
5.0 out of 5 stars

The power of love and the multi-faceted layers of family anchor this moving memoir. Featuring international adoption, the narrative goes well beyond into the complex psyche of parenthood that will resonate with any parent. Koral's fresh voice and delicate interweaving of episodes to unveil her family's story makes for an absorbing read. [link]


Book Reviews

I welcome all types of reviews on my book, The Year The Trees Didn't Die, and thank those of you who write reviews. Your reviews can be through email, blog or website or in print. For more information on reviewing this book, please contact me directly through the "Contact Mary" box on the homepage.

The Year The Trees Didn't Die Book Reviews

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