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
GenreAutobiography, Memoir, Nonfiction, Parenting, Adoption, Biography

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...
  • 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...
  • Jo
    Overall, this wasn't a terrible read, but it really wasn't very good, either. I must begin by saying, that any person that adopts a child, I have admiration for, as it is never a process that is done lightly. It is usually lengthy, difficult and sometimes, can be pretty emotional for all people involved. This book is about an open adoption, where eventually, the adoptive parent allows the birth parents to move in and live in her home. Unfortunate...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 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.
  • Pattie
    I got this as a free Amazon download, and, as the product of a closed adoption, I was eager to learn about the author's experience with open adoption. The story about her journey to obtain a child was somewhat interesting. And it rightly portrays infant adoption exactly as it is – as the last chance of obtaining a child in order to fulfill the need of the woman who has tried every other way to have a baby. The author emerges as a person who bla...
  • 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.
  • Cathy
    4.5 StarsI don't know what I was expecting from this book about an open adoption, I think I was just being nosey and wanted to see how everyone reacted. I don't think this is exactly what was promised in the blurb, but I really enjoyed it. It left me thinking about everyone involved in an open adoption, their back stories etc. I think its clear that this is a biased portrayal of the situation as it is written from the point of view of the adoptiv...
  • Lakshmi
    I picked this book because as a parent in an open adoption, I hoped to glean insights on how others do it and how to get better at it. While this is a vulnerable, honest look at what open adoption looks like, it made me sad to see the child's parents history, their weakest moments laid bare for anyone to read. While they will get past this phase in their lives, these words will live on. I feel broken for the child who will one day read this and w...
  • 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.
  • David Groves
    What a free, easy, loving skate of a read this is! I mean this only in the best way, as in the way that the classic memoir Wild reads. I could read this memoir in bed in the morning, put it down, and whenever I passed it during the day, it would be calling to me. I would pick it up and read a few pages and realize it had been living inside me even when I wasn’t reading it. It’s just that kind of book.This is the story of an open adoption, of ...
  • Meredith Reads
    This book was a disappointment. I thought the book would be...well...different. The book felt like the author was trying to convince the world she was a good person (she donated $50 to the food pantry after all) and there were many discrepancies in her story. First she says her parents taught her the value of holding onto people then she says they taught her the value of not needing others and being independent. She claims to be barely able to ma...
  • Beth Ellor
    A life fully livedVanessa McGrady pulls no punches in describing her own life and her transformation into a passionate mother. Because I'm also a late-blooming passionate mother (since 1988) so much of it rings true. She upends the sentimentality that often surrounds adoption to the uninitiated. Her recognition of the adoption triad and respect for the deep unknowns is such a relief, amid so much psychobabble. And her narrative, while familiar in...
  • Bonnye Reed
    GNAB Rock Needs River is an intriguing memoir about Vanessa McGrady's very open adoption of her daughter Grace. And as traumatic as it was, as all 'transplants' are, the honest and very transparent way this adoption went has to be better than secretive way most adoptions in my day were handled. So many questions that adoptees need answers to are literally just facts of life. It can't have been easy for any of the adults in this memoir to be this ...
  • Joi
    Alright guys this is going to be a lot of ranting, so buckle up! It might be a bumpy ride.This book was touted as "Vanessa’s love letter to her daughter, one that illuminates the universal need for connection and the heroine’s journey to find her tribe"and"A touching memoir about a mother who welcomes more than a new daughter into her home"This ended up being0-60%: A parade of the author's ex boyfriends, in semi-relation of how the uathor dec...
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Beth
    oh my goodness, what a great read ... i've heard of many folks who have adopted kids ... one or multiple i can not imagine ... i am not parent but i can imagine the feelings and the emotions u might feel or go through ... i am a companionate person ... those feelings come easily and at times it was hard to hear or know how one might go through a stressful - emotional time like this ... so well written. great story. for me humor always get me thro...
  • Amira Richardson
    COULDN'T PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!I was adopted as a 4 month old baby in a closed adoption but through God's infinite Grace a LOVELY woman reunited my family with me and I was able to spend 25 years of lost time with my birth mom before she passed away in 2018. Open adoptions allow those who are adopted to be completely whole...not that we love our God given families any less...but for many of us there are missing pieces. Thank you Vanessa McGrath for ...
  • Kristen
    3.5 StarsI didn’t seek out this book. I got it free from Amazon and read it because one of my goals is to read more non-fiction. I didn’t love the writing in the book and felt like the writer couldn’t decide between being conversational and formal. But I did like the story and enjoyed hearing ( took a while!!) how she came to adopt her daughter. I’m not sure I’m a strong enough person to handle the open adoption the way she ...
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • Kristina Marie
    Read this book in a day!What a page-turner! I found so many similarities between Vanessa and I that it started to seem eerie. She has inspired me to start looking into adopting after not being able to have my own children. It gives me hope that I can find that missing piece and fill that empty hole in my life.
  • Karen
    There is a lot of backstory before the adoption of the subtitle happens. I would really like the biological parents to write their side of this story, too; there are bits of it here, but filtered through the author's privilege. I hope the author's relationship with her daughter goes better than any of her relationships with men did.