February 15, 2022

Three Pennies, by Melanie Crowder

 My husband and I have talked about fostering children for a very long time. We have just finished the initial set of training classes! We're excited and (at least for me) a little nervous. We know that this will be a big change for our family. 

This is one I just pulled off the shelf while browsing a few weeks ago. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book was about a girl in care. I would love to make a list of fiction featuring foster children and their families--both biological and resource or adopted. 

Three Pennies, by Melanie Crowder

4 stars: Wistful, revealing, and ultimately, hopeful.

Marin has been in foster care since she was small. She doesn't know why her mom left and she's never known her dad. Now there's an opportunity for her to be adopted, but she is positive that if she could just find her mom and talk with her face to face, that this misunderstanding can be worked out. Surely her mom will want her, at the very least will be unable to say no to her in person. She takes readings from her copy of I Ching to help her make decisions, but it's going to take more than the enigmatic answers from her book to guide her this time.

Lucy is a doctor with a child-sized hole in her life. She wants very badly to love a child and be a mother. Her life circumstances make it unlikely that she will be able to have one of her own, but she is open to adoption--if only there's a child that would fit.

And then there's an owl. A philosophically trained, very wise old owl. 

* * * * *

The book alternates points-of-view between Marin, Lucy, the owl, and a few other characters. I did not find it jarring, as the switch happens per chapter. It is written as narrative poetry.

From the very beginning I was pulling for Marin and Lucy. Also feeling for Marin, as I would guess her speculations and feelings about her family of origin echo those of many children in care. Everyone wants to feel loved and wanted and safe. When the very foundations of her life get shaken up--literally and figuratively--Marin finds a way to cope with her past and move into her future.

Content: Clean.


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