Soul Connection:
Memoir of a Birth Mother’s Healing Journey
by Ann H. Hughes
Otter Bay Books, 1999

     The cover of this book states that it is about healing “through expanded awareness—and about using spiritual alignment to create miracles.” Some readers may question exactly what the author means by “spiritual.”
     The gist of the story is that the author, a birth mother, relinquished a daughter in 1966, and in 1989 begins to search for her. The book does not spend a great deal of time or detail on the pregnancy itself, other than a description of her uncertainty as to who the father was, her mother’s threat to disown her, and the decision for her to go to an unwed mothers’ home. Unlike quite a few other birth mother’s stories, she does not give many details of the home itself, nor of the birth. She does discuss her mother’s making all of the decisions, including signing the final papers, and her own return to her last year of college. The reason given for her absence during the winter quarter was that she was “in Chicago working with autistic children,” which seems like an odd cover story, but most cover stories are equally as odd, and equally as untrue.
     The author then proceeds with a marriage which her parents are only too happy to pay for, to make her “look respectable.” The author’s mother has always put a great premium on looking good and having the appearance of being perfect with a perfect family. The marriage produces two children, and some years down the road, the husband reveals that he is gay, and they part somewhat amicably, with some more cover stories. The author gets involved in the Human Potential Movement, though her description of the activities is somewhat more reminiscent of the est movement.
     Eventually, she realizes she must search for her daughter, but rather than the standard search methods, which she makes some use of, she consults an astrologer for advice, and regards this person as a therapist. From that point on, the book is full of references to various astrological terms, tarot card readings, and visualization sessions.
     She does eventually find her daughter and is reunited, but only after finding not one, but two, other young women, each of whom she believes at first to be her daughter and then finds out they are not; in the second case, this was only determined by DNA testing.
     This book will not appeal to many readers, and may appeal a great deal to those who are interested in astrology and related fields. This reader found some parts quite interesting, and other parts (such as dream sequences, and the detailed astrological readings) confusing.

— Barbara Free, M.A.

Excerpted from the July 1999 edition of the Operation Identitiy Newsletter
© 1999 Operation Identity