Like Family: Growing Up In Other People's Homes

Like Family: Growing Up In Other People's Homes
-by Paula McLain
240 pages (2003)

An unforgettable memoir about "forgotten" children

Candid, painful, sobering, yet hopeful, Like Family: Growing Up In Other People's Houses is McLain's compelling childhood memoir that spans a 15-year period in swestern America in the 1970-80's. 

Abandoned by their parents at a young age, McLain and her two sisters' lives as foster children begin in chaos. Displaced, not unlike refugees in their own country, they are shuffled from foster home to foster home. With little time to settle in or form close bonds with foster parents, Paula and her two sisters are often at the mercy of bureaucracy. 

Through McLain’s simple and yet touching narrative, the reader experiences the inner torment of the forgotten child in a "make-shift family"…the exploitation, the neglect, the abuse, and the anguish of being abandoned by the ones who should care for you the most. 

McLain allows her award-winning poetic expressions to shine, bringing her painful story to the fore...and never in an apologetic or pity-evoking manner. Like Family is well worth the read.

Buy Like Family: Growing Up in Other People's Houses: A Memoir at


- reviewed for Time Warner

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