Carswell recalls her experiences of growing up on the grounds of
the Albany Home for Children. Her father was the administrator
of the home and her mother was the nurse. Their home was
located on the grounds of the home for children.
states that she really grew up with two families; that of her own
and the other consisted of the orphans who lived in her
backyard. However, she and her siblings were not allowed to
play with the orphans. As a child, Sue Carswell felt more
closely related to the children of the orphanage rather then with her own
In 1989, Sue was working as a reporter for People
magazine. She was given the assignment of doing a story on an
orphanage having a reunion of 50 years. It was the story of
her "backyard" - the Albany Home for Children. Her mother and
father also attended the reunion. The reunion brought back
people from all over - New York, Florida, South Carolina and
Michigan. They now ranged in ages from their fifties to some
as old as their eighties. Sue was busy taping their
recollections on a recorder.
After leaving the orphanage
many of the children tried to contact their parents. Those who
did track down their parents heard endless excuses as to why they
were given to an orphanage.
The author has written a
compassionate story of her past dealings with the orphanage.
She does an excellent job of blending the stories of her own family
with those of the Albany Home for Children. In doing so, she
has revisited her own turbulent childhood. She also writes
about the void left by the death of her mother who died from breast
cancer. This is an excellent read and one that is highly
REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON
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