Fixing the Fates – Adoption Book Review


From the Cover of Fixing the Fates: An Adoptee’s Story of Truth and Lies by Diane Dewey:

“Diane Dewey, surrendered in a German orphanage at age one, was adopted and raised by loving parents near Philadelphia who withheld information about her origins, seemingly to protect her. Then the axis shifted. When Diane’s Swiss biological father contacted her by letter after forty-six years, her sense of truth was upended. In the months and years that followed, she sifted through competing versions of the story of her birth and adoption, and discovered disturbing secrets about her true fate. She was in the midst of attempting to substantiate–or refute– these finding through resonant family reunions when another mysterious letter appeared. One part forensic investigation, one part self-discovery, Fixing the Fates is an unflinching saga of facing deception and resetting the compass to live one’s truth.”


5 hoots out of 5

Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 5 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]

What I Thought:

Diane Dewey’s descriptive and enrapturing writing in Fixing the Fates transports the reader to various moments and places throughout her life. Her descriptions of her feelings, thoughts, and perceptions are vulnerable and vivid. I found myself sneaking any spare moments during the day to read this book as it is one of those “couldn’t put it down” stories. The universal themes Diane explores in her memoir are empathy, context, self-acceptance, intuition, and grace (releasing and not harboring anger).

I highly recommend this book to adults in the adoption triad, but especially to adoptive parents as this is the angle from which I read the book. Diane not only shares her thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and experiences as an adoptee, but she discusses universal themes and best practices in adoption and mentions other important works, such as The Primal Wound by Nancy Newton Verrier and Adoption Nation by Adam Pertman. Listening to the experiences of adoptees is one of the most effective ways for foster and adoptive parents to become more informed about how to best parent their children and empathize with them. Reading Fixing the Fates makes these concepts and themes accessible to readers by bringing them into the mind and experiences of an adoptee who expresses her experiences so vividly.

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It’s Your Turn:

    1. What insights did you gain from Diane’s book?
    2. If you are an adoptive parent, has reading Fixing the Fates led you to make any changes to your parenting?
    3. Has the book changed your perceptions of birth family search and reunion?

NOTE: JKS Communications provided an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review.


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