BOOK REVIEW

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FADED PICTURES FROM MY BACKYARD
SUE CARSWELL

Sue 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.

Carswell 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 family.

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 recommended.

REVIEWED BY NANCY EATON

DO NOT REPRINT WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, NANCY EATON

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