If you’ve been a reader of the magazine for a while, you’ll know how much I love using books to help explain difficult topics with our girls. One of the first adoption books we read with our eldest daughter was The Family Fairies written by Rosemary Lucas. She loved the book (she now reads it to her little sister), and it has started lots of discussions about how she came to live with us.
Rosemary’s new book The Family Puzzle is out now. I asked her to share with us what the book is about and how she found writing the second book in her series.
Please note this article includes an affiliate link to the book. That means if you click on the link and then buy it, I get paid a fee from Amazon.
The Family Puzzle
It’s finally here! The second book in my Family Fairies series – The Family Puzzle.
This one proved more challenging than I would have liked. After the welcome success of The Family Faires, I didn’t want to disappoint the hugely supportive audience I have created. Sequels are definitely tricky!
But it wasn’t just this. I gave myself quite a tall order. I wanted to continue the theme and feel of book one but needed to position it differently. The next step up on the journey of understanding what children go through. It was time to approach not just the “how” of adoption, but also the “why”.
Of course, this is hugely wide ranging for each child. Their individual life stories are personal to them. Starting conversations around it can be hard. I wanted to provide some guidance but was conscious about creating more questions than answers. It took me I long time to realise that in fact, this is the exact point and purpose! To lay the path of that all-important, very winding, road through adoption.
The Family Fairies was specifically written with adoptees in mind. The “big reveal” was designed to show them it was their story. The Family Puzzle welcomes a much wider audience, not just adoptive families. Whether that be friends and family of those adopting, school children, or just to compliment the need to educate all on the way some families come together. Something I am very passionate about.
The right terminology
Using the right terminology has always been key in my storyboarding. Not wanting to use misleading or confusing language. Avoiding topics that might worry or set back a child. I was therefore thrilled to get input from respected social workers, adoptive parents, and parents of children whose family and friends had adopted. All key in ensuring the pitch, tone, and pace of the book were spot on.
Taking on board their feedback (and compliments!) was invaluable to position the story at the right level and supported my quest for the story to reflect real life. The book doesn’t shy away from the emotions that adoption generates. But it is gentle and comforting. Someone once said to me that adoption is “beautifully heartbreaking”, and I kept this sentiment close to me throughout the writing process.
One of the most exciting, proudest, parts of the book is the unique way it features actual adoptive families through the use of quirky, vibrant, and engaging illustrations. I had the idea that it should be a book for the adoption community, from the adoption community. I not only reached out to get a sense of words and sentiments that best described people’s adoption experience, but also to see if anyone would like to appear as caricatures.
The response blew me away. Images to base them on were sent through, as well as important books, toys, and teddies to be included – personal touches from introductions or milestone events. I am utterly thrilled with the outcome and very thankful to my talented (and patient) illustrator.
Representing all families
With the inclusion of so many families, I am proud to say The Family Puzzle covers many different family make-ups. I had so many same-sex and single parents getting in touch to see if I had a version of The Family Fairies just for them. Although I have no plans to rewrite it, this new book celebrates all families and shows that they may look different but are grounded by a deep love and urge to protect.
The Family Puzzle is a book for all bookshelves, and I hope you enjoy it! It is available to buy now from Amazon.
If you’d like to read the review of Family Fairies and other adoption and parenting books, click here.