Season 4, Episode 1: Caitríona - I’m Still Grieving Her

Caitríona Palmer’s bestselling memoir, “An Affair with My Mother” captivated my heart immediately. It’s an honour to bring her story to you. Caitríona shares what building a relationship with her mother was like, the heartbreak of being kept a secret and the high cost she’s paid for sharing her story publicly. Listen in and find out how you can join our book club with Caitríona!

{ Caitríona Palmer’s photo by Megan Witt

Show Notes


Topics We Discussed

  • Born and adopted in the 1970s in Ireland, Caitríona always felt there was something missing - even though she grew up adamant that her adoption had no effect on her
  • What triggered Caitríona’s search for her birthmother in 1999
  • Building a relationship slowly through letters (via fax!), and then their first meeting
  • The “catch” was that Sarah had never told anyone about her first pregnancy and subsequent relinquishment; not her husband, her other children, no one.
  • Caitríona on interviewing Sarah for her memoir: “heart-wrenching and wonderful”
  • Meeting Philomena in real life!
  • The cost of sharing her story publicly, and would she do it again?
  • What Caitríona would do differently in reunion if she could do it over again
  • We discuss mothering after reunion, after estrangement
  • Caitríona tells us how adoption has affected her life, “You can grow up happily adopted and still have this hole”


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