Umbilicus Charlotte Van Katwijk Guards Herself Like A Secret Kids Are Cruel, And She Knows If They Find Out She S Adopted, She Ll Be A Bully S Easy TargetWhen They Are Fourteen, Charlotte S Best Friend S Mom Commits Suicide It Triggers In Charlotte A Sense Of Urgency To Find Her Birth Mother Before It S Too Late, And The Answers To Her Burning Questions Are Taken To The GraveSeven Years Later, A Tormented Charlotte Comes Face To Face With Her Past Will Discovering About Her Biological Parents, And The Circumstances Surrounding Her Relinquishment, Be Enough To Lay Her Demons To Rest Umbilicus Is A Coming Of Age Story Set In South Africa S Biggest Port City During The Dying Days Of Apartheid The Tumultuous Zeitgeist Of The Era Mirrors The Inner Turmoil Of An Angst Ridden Adolescent As She Grapples To Form An Identity And Find Her Place In The World Umbilicus Will Appeal To Readers Of All Ages Who Enjoy Young Adult YA Realistic Fiction, Particularly Those Involved Or Interested In The Adoption Experience

Paula Gruben is a writer living in Johannesburg, South Africa.She was put up for adoption as a newborn in 1974, under the highly secretive closed adoption system, which was common practice for young, unwed mothers at the time.Paula had a happy, carefree childhood, but knowing virtually nothing about her biological roots resulted in a crippling identity crisis during her teenage years, manifesting

❰Read❯ ➪ Umbilicus  Author Paula Gruben –
  • Paperback
  • 210 pages
  • Umbilicus
  • Paula Gruben
  • English
  • 14 April 2019
  • 9780620700719

10 thoughts on “Umbilicus

  1. says:

    As an adoptive mother, this was not an easy read for me I cried and was quite tearful throughout the book It s highly emotional and really gives you a front row seat to one woman s struggle to find her identity, her sense of self, among the secrecy and bureaucracy of closed adoptions in the 1970 s and 1980 s I give this book a solid 5 star rating as it was hugely insightful for me as an adoptive mother And I d encourage anyone who is involved in adoption in anyway, or forms part of the adoption triad in anyway, to read it, whether you be a birth parent, an adoptive parent or an adoptee.You can read the FULL review here

  2. says:

    Charlotte was put up for adoption as a baby and then subsequently adopted Her family has always been open about this fact, but Charlotte still feels alone still feels out of place in her own family like a big part of her is missing Who are her birth parents Why did they give her up Who is she supposed to be and how would her life have been different if she wasn t adopted These are a lot of questions and feelings for any teenager to deal with No wonder Charlotte acts out This novel follows her progress from a rebellious teenager to a young adult who finally finds some answers What answers and how, is something you will have to read and find out Even though I don t have any experience with adoption, I have always found it a very interesting topic and now that I m pregnant I find this topic even relevant I have a few friends who I know are adopted and I have always wondered what they must be going through or if it even affects them at all What I have come to realize is that it must be different for each person That is why I think a book like this is necessary so that adoptees know they are not alone, that others feel like them or even different.I found this story interesting on a lot of levels Firstly, it is autobiographical and there is something about knowing that this is someone s life story that makes you connect to it Secondly, the novel deals with a whole host of themes adoption, rejection acceptance, teen angst, suicide and unwanted pregnancy Thirdly, this novel makes you feel Fourthly, I love that it is set in South Africa, specifically Durban as my husband is from there and I can relate to a lot of the places mentioned in this novel Lastly, I was left wanting , wondering what is next I hope Paula does write a second book I need to know what happens in the next 20 years of her life I also need to mention that I really love the cover It is very unique and really tells the story If you are in the mood for something a little different, or are adopted, or know someone who is this book will help shed some light on the topic.

  3. says:

    This was definitely one of those Everything else can wait until I m done with this book moments Being an avid follower and supporter of Paula through following the process of this amazing life project, I am so proud and excited to suggest Umbilicus to everybody, regardless of being involved in any form of the adoption process, friends with, curious about, or simply wanting to experience first hand the trials, tribulations and positive experiences an adoptee experiences.I myself, have grew up with friends who were adopted or have been through foster care and shelters My empathy, and love to them was endless, however, they were incredibly shy scared of others knowing their story, never mind understanding it.High school especially can be daunting, worse so, what happens afterward at the beginning of the rest of their lives Seeing the paths and decisions chosen by Paula sets a great example, as well as a little subconscious voice in the form of an angel on your shoulder to help show you the way.Over and above, apart from the general populace young adults especially I personally would mostly recommend this book to the family members or friends surrounding cases like these, to better understand how their input would be appreciated i.e Those who miraculously find themselves in between both parties, with neither child or biological parents being aware It s such a tricky situation to be in.I myself have 4 half sisters Yup, my father has 5 daughters, 5 different women , 2 of them was given up for adoption before my Father could be part of the decision One of the other sisters literally grew up with me Her parents being family friends completely unaware that she was my sister It was very tough Even so for her finding out at age 16 by accident.The second eldest we got in contact with when I was 11, she 17that caused a lot of ruckus and a story for another time The last 2 that were adopted, I met one of them a few years ago, we arent close And the last one, my extended family knows her But she, somewhere in her early 40 s, completely unaware that she s been adopted.Well, as you can see, this book was close to my heart.3 hieps and a massive hooray to Paula for taking on this project, it must ve been heart wrenching at times But here you are WELL DONE Here s to

  4. says:

    Part conversation, part wish list, this insight into a young adult adoptee s experience is a quick and informative read.

  5. says:

    The beginning of this book was difficult to read not in terms of the language the content especially if you are considering or have adopted I loved reading the different perspectives within the journey of adoption Full circle journey which makes it a worthwhile read for anyone interested in or dealing with adoption There is surprisingly little written in this area.

  6. says:

    The subject matter is a serious one, and I did enjoy reading Umbilicus However, I m not quite sure how to voice what I want to say, but I was expecting , wanted , wanted to feel At certain instances, I simply felt short changed Certain scenes could have been further developed, fleshed out, given me of that gut wrenching angst Charlotte must surely have been feeling I felt like she didn t want to share too much of her pain, which kind of frustrated me Overall, it was a good book.

  7. says:

    Umbilicus is an autobiographical novel by South African author Paula Gruben Following Charlotte, the reader is taken on the journey she endures in discovering who she really is, and the impact that meeting her biological parents has on her life I picked up Umbilicus and started reading it on 4 August but ended up putting it down at the end of Chapter one, only to return to it a month later and finishing it in one day I am glad I waited until I felt ready to read it having a half sister who was put up for adoption there have been many questions I ve asked myself over the years which I think I now have a little clarity on.Paula has a very strong presence in creating awareness about adoption, this calling she seems to have for educating and guiding or supporting people carries through to Umbilicus seamlessly Throughout the book she provides a thorough and genuine story line, facing the challenges that are of those who are involved in an adoption biological parents, adoptive parents and the child.

  8. says:

    The character, Charlotte and I are roughly the same age I could identify with the person, the culture, the language and what living in South Africa was like as a teenager growing up during the time period the book is written in.Many of us question who we are, what we are about, what are our details and what am I going to be when I grow up Charlotte is no different, except that Charlotte knows she is adopted and therefore has some extra questions that need answers.I found Charlotte to be a strong character, honest about her weaknesses and flaws and open to forgiveness and truth Charlotte s adoptive parents showed a little less emotion than I expected to the subject matter They seem emotionally unavailable and cold to her needs throughout the book and I questioned why they adopted two children at all.There was never any doubt that Charlotte would go in search of her biological parents and find them This girl has got what it takes to make dreams come true There is an inborn focus and drive that allows you to cling to the character, cheering her on towards the conclusion.Charlotte s birth mom and dad appear much willing and wanting of Charlotte and there is a very authentic feeling of a story coming full circle.For what could be perceived to be a heavy psychological subject to read about, it is an easy, but emotional read I recommend this book be available to young adults as a means of educating without preaching It opened a wonderful, open dialogue between my 17 year old daughter and I.Umbilicus by Paula Gruben is a self published book, which in South Africa, shows our character s courage once .A copy of the book was made available to me, in exchange for an honest review.

  9. says:

    Mother s and daughterThis was a very interesting read which takes you on a young girls journey of discovery that is personal, emotional and very intimate.I loved the honesty and truth in this authors story which gives an insight into the world of the adopted child that was completely new for me While I know this story is biographical and based on real people her characters were well rounded and popped into life as real, living and breathing people who were never two dimensional of over romanticized.I personally do not like the use of letters to move a story forward but these were a very necessary part of this story and even this worked for me.Many men may find this story too emotional and personal, but even though this book is far from my usual reading preference or genre I found it a refreshing, interesting and easy read.This book will appeal to any one interested in relationships and family and should be required reading for any one contemplating adoption It would also be a powerful read which will provide insight for any adopted child, or sibling or friend of an adopted child.

  10. says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful book What a heart wrenching journey to have traveled Not once in my rather long life have I ever sat down and contemplated what it must feel like as an adopted child to not know where you came from, and to not know where you re going as Paula did until she found herself when she found her biological parents The letters from her adoptive and biological parents were my favourite things The letter she wrote to her son at the end is simply wonderful One day he is going to read it, in all his completeness, and know how precious he has always been What could a child ever ask for How many parents are blissfully unaware of the importance of validation I still find it quite incredible that the most confusing, unsettling and trying times in our lives can lead to the most inspiring books Umbilicus is one of them.

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