by Susan Scarf Merrell
This debut novel by Susan Merrell explores one family's dilemma after adopting a damaged 18-month-old boy from a Romanian orphanage. Living in the affluent resort town of Sag Harbor, the well-meaning Latham family feels confident that all Michael needs is unconditional love to overcome his Reactive Attachment Disorder. It isn't. Suspenseful and complex, this novel challenges the assumptions of unconditional parental love when the whole family is on the verge of collapse because of one child. Merrell was hotly criticized by adoption advocates. One reviewer from the Boston Globe declared, "This book will do for adoption what 'Psycho' did for showers." I found the book honest and realistic, however, in spite of its lack of political correctness.