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 Target.When 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 Grave.Seven 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.Umbilicus

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

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  • Paperback
  • 210 pages
  • Umbilicus
  • Paula Gruben
  • English
  • 05 January 2017
  • 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 a...

  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, th...

  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 themse...

  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 a...

  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 cha...

  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...

  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 yea...

  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...

  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...

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