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Book details
  • Genre:FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS
  • SubGenre:Adoption & Fostering
  • Language:English
  • Pages:224
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543909319

Guardians' Betrayal

What Happens Seven Years After Adoption

by Johanna Van Zanten

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Overview
Seven years after adoption, 17 year-old Shayla gets a Facebook message from her long-forgotten half-sister that turns her world upside down. Adoptive mom Bernice – an overworked social worker – longs for a vacation with her husband without their four children. Her husband Tom – a realtor –starts an affair with his receptionist. Shayla – the eldest of the adopted sisters – is graduating and has a crush on Eric. The message from Shayla’s long-lost older sister starts off a chain of events, which escalates to a full-blown disaster, when Tom leaves the family. During the eight months of crisis, Bernice, Tom, and Shayla see the events and their actions in completely different ways, and all three players in this story about family relationships act according to their own truths. Guardians’ Betrayal is a story told from the point of view of the three main characters, with interwoven alternating perspectives of Shayla, her mom Bernice and her dad Tom. The reader will discover that there’s more to a family than the eye meets, as painful discoveries about the past are faced. Guardians’ Betrayal is a book for adults and mature young adults with an interest in adoption.
Description
Guardians’ Betrayal is a story told from the point of view of the three main characters through interwoven alternating perspectives of Shayla, her mom Bernice and her dad Tom, enlightening the reader that there’s more to a family than the eye meets. Shayla’s birth parents abandoned her. At age ten she came into foster care, together with her younger sister, Abby. Tom and Bernice adopted both girls soon after. Shayla is insecure and doesn’t have a lot of friends. Seven years after adoption, her long-forgotten older sister contacts her and announces her birth dad wants to reconnect. Her past abandonment haunts her and she has terrifying flashbacks of her old life. She starts shoplifting. All hell breaks lose when Bernice wants to slow down a reconnection with her birth dad. Shayla uncharacteristically rebels and starts keeping secrets from her mom. She has a few parties at friend’s house, and is planning to end her virginity, determined to turn her crush into her boyfriend. Bernice suspects Tom has an affair, as he barely participates in the family, due to his busy work schedule. Bernice has him followed by a P.I., who confirms what she feared. She confronts Tom, who can no longer deny the facts; he leaves the family. Bernice has trouble with accepting the reality of raising a family of four alone and fails in dealing with a rebellious Shayla without Tom. She realizes she needs help when she discovers Shyla’s self-harming and contacts Shayla’s birth-dad. She is pleasantly surprised when she meets him. Tom is disappointed, when all of Bernice’s attention is for the children. He moves in with his new love, but life with this young lady is not as wonderful as expected, and the shine soon disappears from that idyll. He misses the equality and fairness of his marriage with Bernice and really misses the children. With the re-appearance of Shayla’s birth dad in the life of the family, his place in the family is at risk. Tom makes a point of faithfully showing up for his planned activities with his young sons and studies how his family members relate to the new man. When Shayla gets caught shoplifting, Tom offers to go to court with her. Are relationships between guardians and children strong enough to face the truth? Is the marriage going to survive? Is the family going to pull through? Read Guardians’ Betrayal, a book for adults and mature young adults with an interest in adoption.
About the author
Johanna was born and raised in The Netherlands. She obtained a Fine Arts degree in Amsterdam and entered the social work profession as a creative therapist in an addiction treatment center in Amsterdam. She immigrated to Canada in her early thirties, married a Canadian, had a daughter, and returned to university; she graduated from University of Victoria in BC with a Bachelor’s degree in social work. Since 1982, she worked in a variety of community settings and positions in Albert and BC – the last 17 years in child protection.   She discovered writing later in life and finally put her long-held wish to write a book one day into action with publishing On Thin Ice – a short story collection – in 2012 while taking intensive writing courses, enjoying the act of writing as a life-giving force. Johanna wrote her stories to inspire and entertain her readers, and share what life taught her.
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