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Missing Pieces [Paperback]

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Item description for Missing Pieces by Sherry A. Cochran...

Missing Pieces is the compelling story of a woman's search for her birth family. It is a searing autobiography about a child who survives neglect, abandonment, physical and sexual abuse, a failed adoption, the foster care system, and hereditary progressive hearing loss in her successful quest for reunification with her birth family. The book is written in concurrent story lines: through the eyes of a child during a traumatic childhood and with the drive of an adult experiencing the frustrations of a challenging search for her lost family. The reader is compellingly drawn into the horrific struggles of the young girl and the prolonged anxieties of the searching adult who at last finds her missing identity.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.38" Width: 5.66" Height: 0.52"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2004
Publisher   KiwE Publishing
ISBN  1931195099  
ISBN13  9781931195096  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs

Reviews - What do customers think about Missing Pieces?

Don't Overlook this Memoir  Aug 29, 2008
One of the things I love about being a reviewer is that I get to read so many books, in genres that I might otherwise overlook. Missing Pieces: A Woman's Search for her Birth Family is one of those books. Don't let the genre/topic of this book fool you. This is not your typical memoir.

Missing Pieces follows the journey of young Cheryl as she is torn from her family and the tumultuous effects this has on her life. With an alcoholic father and overwhelmed mother, Cheryl still managed to feel love from her older siblings. But the State felt otherwise and took charge of the situation. Soon, all the children were removed from the home and placed in foster care. Originally placed with a caring couple in a big farmhouse, Cheryl watched as one after the other of her siblings was adopted. Eventually, she too was adopted.

Life at first seemed bright for the curious girl with her adoptive parents. But slowly the child's mother began to change and violence erupted. With a father who was absent for long periods of time due to his work, Cheryl was at the mercy of her adoptive mother. The first signs of trouble are when the mother starts to verbally abuse her young charge. Having never been truly loving toward her new daughter, the adoptive mother's angry words soon morphed into physical abuse. This is the beginning of years of incredible hardship for Cheryl who is unable to confide to anyone the torture she is enduring. On the rare occasions when she runs away and tries to talk to her grandparents, she still gets returned to her abusive mother.

Cochran tells the story of young Cheryl in the third person, describing the feelings, both emotional and physical, that the child is suffering. The words come from a distant, but caring, narrator. It is clear from the start that Cochran is talking about her own painful childhood and it is done in a sensitive and compassionate way. Some of the episodes of Cheryl's abuse are hard to read, but I found myself unable to turn away. "Where is her father?" "Why doesn't somebody take the child away?" I asked these and other questions as I sped through the book.

A unique and interesting twist to the storytelling is that this book is divided into two separate yet equal parts. A few chapters describing Cheryl's turmoil, and then, just when you are deep into the story and need to turn that page to see what happens, the next chapter transitions to Cochran's search for her birth family. It is a successful technique that keeps the reader turning the page; equally interested in both the search for Cochran's family and in following the child's life.

Quill says: This heartfelt tale is one that should not be overlooked.
Together Again  Dec 23, 2004
In MISSING PIECES, Sherry Cochran shares the deeply personal and often painful experiences of her life. Her young world was torn apart after she and her siblings were removed from her family and placed in foster care. One by one, they were either shifted to other foster care placements or adopted, leaving her alone and out of the reach of her protective older siblings. By the time Sherry was adopted she was mistrustful of all adults, yet hopeful that for once she would have a family that was really hers. Unfortunately, her adoption dream turned into a nightmare, and she had to endure verbal, psychological and physical abuse at the hands of her adoptive mother. Eventually, Sherry found herself back in the foster care system even more emotionally battered and bruised. Throughout her life she held on to the snapshots that represented her memories of her mother and siblings. Once she was old enough, she began her search for her birth family but encountered numerous brick walls. Sherry's search for her family was long, frustrating and emotionally trying but eventually she found success and was reunited with family members who for years were only faded memories.

MISSING PIECES is a stirring account of both childhood abuse and a search for a birth family. While I believe that both storylines are important and should be shared with readers, I felt like there were times when they worked against each other. The author switched back and forth between first and third person point of views and explained in the introduction that it was to help readers empathize more with her childhood experiences. I found the use of third person disassociated the author from the child in the book and I think those chapters would have had more impact from the first person perspective. In spite of these things, MISSING PIECES is an excellent achievement for Cochran and an important illustration of some of the ills of the foster care and adoption systems. (RAW Rating: 3.5)

Reviewed by Stacey Seay
of The RAWSISTAZ™ Reviewers
Step into the world of Foster care  Oct 25, 2004
October 21, 2004

11 year old Cheryl is in a world virtually alone. Taken away from her loving family after they fell on hard times was shuffled through the foster care system to abusive adults who were suppose to protect and nurture her. This caused Cheryl to grow up feeling broken, misunderstood, and distrustful of adults.

In later years of Cheryl life she is driven to chemical dependency and depression and attempted suicide.

It is with the help of FINALLY being with positive foster parents Sarah and Don; she begins to see her own self worth and what she can do to turn her life around.

Going through counseling and meeting others like herself, she understands she must relive those painful memories and put the pieces of the bad dream (her-life) together.

She begins to search for her birth family and to search for her self as well. She finds strength and courage she didn't know she possessed.

This story makes you want to collect all the broken children in the world and provide a save heaven.

The author Sherry Cochran grew up through the foster system with abusive and neglectful parents and faced these same feelings of loveless ness and loneliness with a hidden and unknown hearing disability.

Sherry allows you to step into the shoes of a young and trustful child and experience the heartache, disappointments, and abuse. It is only when you return to your safe everyday existence you become horrified and shocked of what some people are capable of doing to a child, some may even be your next door neighbor, teacher, or even a family member.

Sherry Has provided a list of agencies in this book to help children report abuse and neglect, runaways, and search organizations to help with finding their birth parents.

I hope all the foster care parents read this book so they can understand and pickup the messages these lost and lonely souls are sending out. They must intercede and help them get on the right track.

Reviewed by Demetria Harris
FEAR FACTOR in the Real World!  May 4, 2003
Mommy Dearest has nothing on the woman who adopted little Cheryl. No wonder the poor child wished the woman dead!
I wished it myself and had to put the book down several times to get my own emotions under control again. Such a horrifying way to be raised! If you are a parent, this book will tear your heart out. If you are searching for your own birth-family, it will give you valuable advise and resources as well as some sound reality checking. Read it with a box of tissue and a pillow to pound!
missing pieces  Oct 29, 2002
Interesting reading about child abuse. Would of rated it 5-star but I felt it should of added more information about the main characters in the story.

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