A Good Likeness: A Personal Story of Adoption by Paul Arnott
Paul Arnott has two very early memories. One is as a two-year-old having a bath in a hotel sink in Tenby; the other, a Bromley afternoon, when Mr and Mrs Arnott told Paul that "his real Mummy and Daddy couldn't keep him" - and that they had adopted him. Then, for 30 years, he barely gave his adoption a moment's thought - until the observation of the likeness between his son and himself provoked a quest to find his own biological parents. What he discovered was a near-complete family in Ireland - his parents had later married and since had four other children, lighting a candle in his name every day for thirty-three years. His biography weaves historical, political, religious and psychological thought into a personal narrative of the hopes, "what-ifs", and discoveries of the author's quest. He talks to those of his parent's generation who did not yield to the pressure to abandon the illegitimate, and to the children with very different stories to tell, as well as priests and politicians, newfound families and the supportive or unreconciled adoptive relatives.