‘The Bond,’ a memoir about family survival

After enjoying the 2013 TV series “The Fosters” (ABC Family/Freeform), which follows the stories of several foster children in southern California, I was intrigued to read a memoir that tackled the realities of the American foster care system. A.M. Grotticelli’s “The Bond: How a Mixed Bag of Foster Kids Became a Family for Life” (Atmosphere Press) is one such book. It’s an honest story, relaying how one family remained intact despite many challenges. Oddly enough, while reading “The Bond,” I discovered “The Queen’s Gambit,” a Netflix miniseries about a foster child from an orphanage who turns out to be a chess genius. If you have enjoyed either of these programs, you will find a lot to like in The Bond.

The writing is raw, honest and direct. There is no softening or romanticizing of the truth, but there is also no dramatization. A.M. Grotticelli (known as Angelo in the story) does a terrific job building the suspense by merely relaying what happened. At times, I wondered where the book was going as it seemed to be a random series of memories and events. Yet, I also had this feeling that a hammer was going to drop and drop hard. Although my instincts proved correct, I was still unprepared for the foster parents’ harshness towards the children…

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