Rock Needs River by Vanessa McGrady

Rock Needs River

From a story first told in the popular New York Times parenting blog comes a funny, touching memoir about a mother who welcomes more than a new daughter into her home.After two years of waiting to adopt—slogging through paperwork and bouncing between hope and despair—a miracle finally happened for Vanessa McGrady. Her sweet baby, Grace, was a dream come true. Then Vanessa made a highly uncommon gesture: when Grace’s biological parents becam...

Details Rock Needs River

TitleRock Needs River
Release DateFeb 1st, 2019
PublisherLittle A
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews Rock Needs River

  • Sarah Hyatt
    This book fails miserably at all the things it claims to be. It perfectly fits my usual interests -- memoir! adoption! OPEN adoption! I was so excited to see a book that fit my odd little reading niche so nicely, especially for free. I dove into it, hoping it would be my first great read of the year. It was not. From the memoir perspective -- it's just not a good book. It's vague and too quick in places it shouldn't be, and long and rambling in o...
  • Julie Christine
    This is the story of a woman growing into her heart. With cozy candor that invites the reader to pour a tall glass of malbec, kick off her shoes and curl into the sofa, Vanessa McGrady shares her journey of choice and circumstance to becoming a mother.One summer day, I was lolling around in the bath, and, inexplicably, with no apparent trigger, I wanted a baby. I was nearing thirty. I felt an allover tug in my body, a missing of someone I didn't ...
  • Stephen
    “Rock Needs River” is more than a story about an “open adoption,” whereby the parents putting a child up for adoption remain part of that child’s life. Author Vanessa McGrady’s personal journey toward adoptive motherhood details the process by which she was able to locate a couple desiring to give up their daughter so as to focus on their dreams as musicians. You will read about groups she joined as part of that process, mistakes she ...
  • Natalie Joy
    I'm disappointed that this was my first completed read of the year! I am glad that it was a free read via Amazon's Kindle First program because I cannot imagine wanting to spend money on this fluff piece. The book blurb suggests a "funny" and "witty" story of a mother's 2 year wait to adopt and then the surprise twist of taking her baby's birth parents into her home when they end up homeless. It takes FIVE CHAPTERS to actually get to the "adoptio...
  • Heather Macaulay-ditaranto
    Entertaining at first but quickly turned into a narcissistic account of one woman's (the author, perhaps?) Sexual encounters, work history and selfish desire to have a baby when obviously she wasn't meant to be a mother.I was disappointed that this story appeared to be the memoirs of a self applauding wannabe. No real depth to this book.
  • Julie Robichaux
    Oh, man, the author was so close to getting it...and just never did. I was aching for her to develop some sort of insight — any sort of insight! — into why she felt and behaved as she did towards her daughter's bio-parents.Instead, over and over again, I read confused complaints about how they disappointed her — and very little acknowledgement that her expectations may have been unfair. Very little awareness that it was presumptuous to impo...
  • Erin
    I came across this book as a free download from Amazon Prime. I almost bailed just 20 pages in (mostly due to swearing) but decided to stick with it because it was describing a life and circumstances foreign to my own life and circumstances. While somewhat interesting, I found the writing and pacing weak. The author tries to be open and vulnerable, but her self analysis more often swings towards justification and rationalization than true awarene...
  • Goth Gone Grey
    More about the author than the adoption - very self-absorbedI wish more of the book had the upbeat, optimistic style of this example: "My parents taught me how to create a tribe. Some of my blood-related family is in my tribe, to be sure, but most of its members I’ve picked up along the way, starting when I was four with my best friend, Lisa, who lived downstairs and who is closer to me today than any blood sister could be. My tribe is hilario...
  • Kimberley Moran
    Vanessa’s story is exceptional but it’s her writing that pulls you in close and keeps you there. I opened the book expecting to read a few pages to see what I was getting into and closed it three hours later on the last page.
  • Char
    This was one of my Amazon First Reads picks for the month of January."From a story first told on the popular New York Times parenting blog comes a funny, touching memoir about a mother who welcomes more than a new daughter into her home"Oh, how misleading this little blurb is! Why? Because there isn't much funny or touching about this book. To be honest, it isn't even really a book about an open adoption since the author barely touches on the act...
  • Tami Sullivan
    Not my favorite readThe author paints herself in a virtuous tone, but instead presents herself as needy and victimized. I was disappointed. Pass on this depressing, self-congratulatory mess of a book.
  • Ceecee
    Amazon Kindle First for January I picked this as I was hoping for some insight into open adoption of which I have no experience or understanding. If that’s what you are looking for - forget it with this book. It was about 30% in before adoption was even mentioned as it was more memoir of a not especially interesting life as Vanessa went from partner to partner. I felt empathy with her miscarriages as I’ve been there myself and I applaud peopl...
  • Wendy Kinsey
    Best book I have read in a while!This book is so honest and poignant—at times heartbreaking and at times so hopeful and rich that it brought me to tears. My story is similar so it resonates with me. But even if adoption isn’t a part of your life, this book is, to put it simply and succinctly, beautiful.
  • Sharon Jones
    Not one of the bestI did not care for the main character, Vanessa. She seemed self-centered, hard to please and unwilling to make any commitment. She went through men like they were there to please her and if anything went astray in her thinking, they were toast. She allowed herself to do what she wanted in a relationship. I have doubts that she is the "good" mother she makes herself out to be. Not my pick for a steady Mother.
  • Christina
    When I saw the lovely title Rock Needs River, I knew this memoir would offer some emotional content. But for those who haven't read it yet, it's not a weeper or a downer at all. It's so much more than 'adoption.' It's about the stresses of single life, dating, longing, trying so, so hard to make something work when it's difficult, and more. And it's about the challenges of people, namely the partner she adopted her child with, and the frustrating...
  • Cara Swann
    Thought-provoking memoir about adoptionI found this memoir to be very positive about open adoption. The author is candid, intellectual, insightful and most of all, truly loves and adores her adopted daughter. Loved the eccentric, creative yet grounded McGrady whose sparkling personality shines through in every page. Highly recommended.
    A great readThis was a personal story to me—my mom was adopted—and it brought an interesting perspective as well as an unusual (to me) way of adopting a child. Beautifully written, difficult to put down, and I’d gladly read it again.
  • Cara Dyksen
    Free download so what the heck? I finished it within a few hours. Very pleasantly surprised at this memoir, especially after just finishing an amazing memoir yesterday. The bar was high, but Vanessa McGrady’s heart on her sleeve writing drew me in. I love her love for Grace, and her constant need to let Grace know she can do anything, how loved she is and always will be. Her internal battle of wanting to do the right thing vs. the skepticism of...
  • Patti
    Great memoir I enjoy reading about true stories about people's lives. This is a story that is light and happy. Has a good storyline that held my interest. It felt like the author was sitting with me telling her story, with the happy and sometimes sad moments.
  • Rebeka
    LoveGreat book for moms!! Quick and easy to read, finished it in 2 days. Will be looking up more books by this author!
  • Jennifer Carlson
    Loved this book! Randomly came across this through Amazon and I read it in a few hours. Best book I’ve read recently. Interesting story, but I really liked her writing style and her help make change approach, like the relationship with Grace’s bio parents. Excellent job connecting reader with characters...wish I could hang out with this author. Great book and hope to see more from Vanessa McGrady.
  • Kristin
    Unforgettable Memoir Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. I read this book in just hours and I know I will never forget it. The author is a very talented writer and painted such vivid pictures of her worlds.
  • Jaime
    I sat down and read it straight through this evening. It's a wonderful origin story, love letter, and confessional all wrapped up in Vanessa's wit and vulnerability. Our family has a similar adoption story, and it's refreshing to see another open adoption portrayed as a positive experience, even with the twists that inevitably occur.
  • Kathleen
    I enjoyed this sweet little book about motherhood. You can read it in a day or two and will not be disappointed.
  • Rachel L.
    An amazing, touching, emotionally devastating book about adoption and love. Ms. Mcgrady is a top notch author, and I consumed this book in one sitting. I am going to have to go back and read it again soon.
  • Sarah Gifford
    Informative well writtenI did not know about adoption history of current process. McGrath did an excellent job explaining and kept my interest because it was real & personal.
  • SusanS
    Not a fanRather than being a real story about open adoption, this was more the progressive feminist diatribe of a narcissist. All relationships revolved around the author and her point of view. I found it disturbing.
  • julie shurrum
    Author has such a generous heartOne of the best of its genre. The author is so much more than fair in here description of her child's birth parents
  • Melissa
    The genius of this memoir is its total relatability, in spite of the completely unorthodox scenarios around which the narrative turns. I found myself completely riveted by Vanessa McGrady’s story, and deeply invested in its outcome, while at the same time, finding joy and unexpected laughter in its pages, alongside anguish and deep empathy. Her tone is humble, funny and brutally honest, making the book one you’ll want to spend time with, and ...
  • Cheyenne Wilbur
    Rock Needs River, Vanessa McGrady’s memoir about a “very open adoption” left me with a deepened understanding of the whole process along with the fact that each one is as unique as a snowflake. Relationships are complicated. Parenting is difficult. Now add two sets of parents for one child and we have one of those you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up stories.That is Vanessa McGrady’s Rock Needs River, a memoir about her open adoption.It’s a q...