By: A.M. Grotticelli
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Reviewed by: Katie Specht
Review Date: September 9, 2021
A.M. Grotticelli, a technology journalist, presents his debut book in The Bond, a memoir of his childhood spent growing up in a foster family. In his story, Grotticelli describes his life over a span of 10 years living with his foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson, along with seven other foster kids.
The author’s story begins at age eight as he is living at St. Michael’s Home, an orphanage for abandoned children located in Staten Island, New York. Grotticelli then chronicles how he came to arrive at the orphanage at the tender age of seven. His parents had been violently fighting for some time, and subsequently, his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. His mother’s cancer progressed so badly that she eventually had to be admitted to the hospital. This was the impetus that led the author’s father to place Grotticelli, along with two of his siblings, in an orphanage. Grotticelli’s extended family did not question this decision in any way; in fact, Grotticelli’s father might as well have simply been giving away an unwanted child’s toy. Shortly thereafter, Grotticelli finds himself and his two siblings thrust into a new, scary world at the orphanage, feeling more abandoned and alone than ever before.
Grotticelli is no stranger to the written word, and his writing expertise shines through in The Bond. This poignant story of finding familial love will pull at the reader’s heartstrings. Being part of a family unit is something that many take for granted; yet for foster children, it is a bond that they search and yearn for, often for most of their lives. Amazingly, Grotticelli and his foster siblings were able to establish an unbreakable familial bond against all odds. This remarkable phenomenon reinforces how even if you are born without a familial unit, friends can become your family.
Grotticelli’s touching memoir not only provides an honest account of triumph against all odds, but it also sheds light on a necessary, but sadly, flawed, societal component: the foster system. Foster children often find themselves discarded, unwanted, abused, and malnourished, among other things. They often have a stigma attached to themselves that is difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. They are usually forced to grow up much quicker than children should need to, and instead find some sort of employment at a young age in an effort to support and better themselves. Grotticelli's account puts a spotlight on these issues and more.
Quill says: With The Bond, Grotticelli has written an honest and emotional tale of forging strong relationships against all odds. His writing is powerful, touching, and poignant. This story will leave the reader immensely grateful for the familial love that is present in his or her own life.