Book Review: All You Can Ever Know

All You Can Ever Know tells the story of Nicole Chung, born to Korean parents and adopted by white parents in suburban Oregon. As she grows up, Chung faces racism and alienation as a transracial adoptee that she hides from her adoptive family.

Book Review Graphic

Her parents see their adoption of her as an act of God and tell it to her in a story that almost becomes myth. But as she grows up, she begins to fantasize about her birth parents as well, longing to meet them. She was adopted as part of closed adoption, and her parents do not want her to reach out to them, fearing the repercussions.

When she finally seeks out her birth parents it is just as Chung is pregnant with her first child. The questions she had about being a mother spurred her to proceed with what she had not been able to in the past.

You can read the rest of this post on Medium in Women Writing Memoir.


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  1. Louisa

    A friend of mine is currently in a similar situation to the main character of this book and I am sure we will find it very useful to look at differing perspectives #mmbc

    • Catherine Lanser

      I found the new relationship with her biological family interesting even though I don’t have any tie to adoption. I never thought about what it would be like to miss that connection.

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