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Counting Down: A Memoir of Foster Parenting and Beyond by Deborah Gold

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This book presents a really creative and comprehensive picture of foster parenting. It starts with a poem from a 13-year-old boy in foster care, and includes his poems and essays, written at various ages, throughout. The perspective of the foster mom is given by the author who also does an outstanding job of presenting the viewpoints of the birth mother, the birth father who was serving time in prison, social workers, the courts, other foster parents, and other people involved. Pseudonyms are used for the author and all other persons, and the locale is also hidden except for the fact that the setting is somewhere in Appalachia. The fact that both blurbs provided are from outstanding regional fiction writers demonstrates that this memoir is not just informative, but also very well-written. “Counting Down is a deeply moving memoir about both the rewards and the daunting challenges of being a foster family. By choosing to incorporate both parent and child perspectives, Deborah Gold has created a unique and valuable book. Bravo.”—Ron Rash “Counting Down is an extraordinary story of loss and recovery that documents the breakdown and rebuilding of lives, family, and human potential. Deborah Gold is a gifted writer, and the kind of person who makes our world not only bearable but meaningful. This an intimate account of struggle, joy, and the bonds that sustain families and communities.”—Robert Morgan.

Athens: Ohio University Press, 2018. 246 pages. Trade paperback