No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey to Identity by Nadean Stone
What’s it About?
The story of a woman in search of her identity, from her struggles in an abusive and hostile marriage to her obsessive, detective-like hunt for her birth mother.
She was that close.
So close that their knees almost touched. Nadean Stone was sitting right next to the hospital administrator who held in her hands Nadean’s birth records revealing the name of her birth mother. It was right there. Nadean, adopted 46 years earlier, was about to unlock her life’s great mystery.
But the laws at the time in Canada did not allow the administrator to share adoption info with adoptees. With such heartbreak and frustration, Nadean considered yanking the file from the administrator’s hands and dashing off.
Instead, Nadean Stone, author of her gripping memoir No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey to Identity, left, I guess you could say, no stone unturned in her quest to discover the identity of her blood mother.
Abandonment & Abuse
The desperation of the search sinks in as readers become familiar with the author’s narrative, the life she stumbled into, the friends and family who were supportive or not, the tragedies she encountered, and all the pieces and reasons that come together in explaining why Nadean, or anyone for that matter, would want to know their true identity.
“Many illegitimate newborns in Canada were sold or illegally given away by the Catholic Church and other institutions in the 1950s. On December 18, 1952, I became one of those babies,” Nadean writes.
As her adopted parents leave the hospital with Nadean, they notice a young woman in a hospital window watching their departure. This, she explains, was a routine practice by the nuns, feeling that by having such a woman appear in the distance, it would make the adoptive parents believe this was the child’s mother. “The nuns thought this would give comfort to the new parents.”
Before No Stone Unturned delves into Nadean’s search, it describes a life she has entered on an exotic Caribbean island, with a husband of means who starts out as a dream come true until his true colors surface and he becomes abusive and hostile. The marriage to Juan ultimately doesn’t last, but it produces a son, Andrew, who, while loved by both parents, becomes a pawn between them. Tragic events unfold, and while it appears Nadean may never recover, she is forced to recalibrate and take on a new life, which provides some comfort amid the lingering effect of not having or knowing any blood relatives.
Hunt for Identity
After a deep dive into Nadean’s life up to this point, the book shifts gears and becomes an all-out investigative thriller to track down the author’s birth mother. Great research, detail and perseverance carry the day, shifting from the narrative of a woman and her struggles to an obsessive, detective-like hunt.
The author writes concisely, confidently and convincingly, with a gift for the craft that is only enhanced by expressing her emotions succinctly but not bathing in them to the point of distraction. She wants to provide her audience with hope and courage, so she writes from that perspective. She faces many challenges, much pain, and great frustration. That only serves to keep readers glued to the pages and easily root for her.
During one emotionally draining moment, she tells her husband, “I feel Nadean is someone else, not me … There is no way I could have gone through what that woman has endured and survived it all with any level of sanity.”
“It is beyond unbelievable.”
About Nadean Stone:
Nadean Stone is a legal management consultant and author. She works as an advocate for children and adoptees, with an interest in public policy and legislation. Nadean spent 44 years searching for her birth mother, challenging the current law in Ontario, Canada regarding non-adoptees’ access to their birth records. She is currently exploring the transformation of her memoir No Stone Unturned: A Remarkable Journey to Identity into a screenplay and is also working on a series of children’s stories about her adventures on her grandmother’s farm, as well as a story about her much-loved Aunt Roberta. She and her husband Bill divide their time between their home in Florida and their cottage in Vermont.
Publish Date: 4/6/2021
Genre: Biography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Self Help
Author: Nadean Stone
Page Count: 285 pages