Lisa Scottoline, 2009
St. Martin's Press
When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child?” flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away.
But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops—the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. Her every instinct tells her to deny the similarity between the boys, because she knows her adoption was lawful.
But she’s a journalist and won’t be able to stop thinking about the photo until she figures out the truth. And she can’t shake the question: if Will rightfully belongs to someone else, should she keep him or give him up? She investigates, uncovering clues no one was meant to discover, and when she digs too deep, she risks losing her own life—and that of the son she loves. (From the publisher.)
• Birth—July 1, 1955
• Where—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
• Education—B.A., J.D., University of Pennsylvania
• Awards—Edgar Award
• Currently—lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of some two dozen novels and several nonfiction books. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Chick Wit" which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman's perspective.
These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in four books including their most recent, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, and the earlier, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space.
Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction" at The University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater.
Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
Lisa's books have landed on all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and Look Again was named "One of the Best Novels of the Year" by the Washington Post, and one of the best books in the world as part of World Book Night 2013.
Lisa's novels are known for their emotionality and their warm and down-to-earth characters, which resonate with readers and reviewers long after they have finished the books. When writing about Lisa’s Rosato & Associates series, Janet Maslin of the New York Times applauds Lisa's books as "punchy, wisecracking thrillers" whose "characters are earthy, fun and self-deprecating" and distinguishes her as having "one of the best-branded franchise styles in current crime writing."
Lisa's contributions through her writing has been recognized by organizations throughout the country. She is the recipient of the Edgar Award, the Mystery Writer's of America most prestigious honor, the Fun, Fearless, Fiction Award by Cosmopolitan Magazine, and named a PW Innovator by Publisher's Weekly.
Lisa was honored with AudioFile's Earphones Award and named Voice of the Year for her recording of her non-fiction book, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. The follow up collection, My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space has garnered both Lisa and her daughter, Francesca, an Earphones Award as well. In addition, she has been honored with a Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University, and a "Paving the Way" award from the University of Pennsylvania, Women in Business.
Lisa's accomplishments all pale in comparison to what she considers her greatest achievement, raising, as a single mom, her beautiful (a completely unbiased opinion) daughter, an honors graduate of Harvard, author, and columnist, who is currently working on her first novel.
Lisa believes in writing what you know, and she puts so much of herself into her books. What you may or may not learn about Lisa from her books is that...
♦ she is an incredibly generous person
♦ an engaging and entertaining speaker
♦ a die-hard Eagles fan
♦ a good cook.
♦ She loves the color pink, her Ipod has everything from U2 to Sinatra to 50 Cent, she is proud to be an American, and nothing makes her happier than spending time with her daughter.
Lisa is also a softie when it comes to her furry family. Nothing can turn Lisa from a professional, career-minded author, to a mushy, sweet-talking, ball-throwing woman like her beloved dogs. Although she has owned and loves various dog breeds, including her amazing goldens, she has gone crazy for her collection of King Charles Spaniels.
Lisa first fell in love with the breed when Francesca added her Blehneim Cavalier, Pip, to the mix. This prompted Lisa to get her own, and she started with the adorable, if not anatomically correct (Lisa wrote a "Chick Wit" column about this), Little Tony, her first male dog. Little Tony is a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
But Lisa couldn't stop at just one and soon added her little Peach, a Blehneim King Charles Cavalier. Lisa is now beyond thrilled to be raising Peach’s puppies, Daniel Boone and Kit Carson, and for daily puppy pictures, be sure to follow Lisa on Facebook or Twitter. Herding together the entire pack is Lisa’s spunky spit-fire of a Corgi named Ruby. The solitude of writing isn't very quiet with her furry family, but she wouldn't have it any other way.
Not to be outshined by their canine counterparts, Lisa's cats, Vivi and Mimi, are the princesses of the house, and have no problem keeping the rest of the brood in line. Vivi is a grey and white beauty and is more aloof than her cuddly, black and white partner, Mimi. When Lisa’s friend and neighbor passed, Lisa adopted his beloved cat, Spunky, a content and beautiful ball of fur.
Lisa loves the coziness of her farmhouse, and no farm is complete without chickens. Lisa has recently added a chicken coop and has populated it with chicks of different types, and is overjoyed with each and every colorful egg they produce. Watching over Lisa's chicks are her horses, which gladly welcomed the chicks and all the new excitement they bring. (Author bio adapted from the author's website.)
Visit the author's website.
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Scottoline's writing hasn't acquired the paunch often found in thrillers by authors whose careers have reached the literary equivalent of middle age. Her plots are as lean and swift as a scull on the Schuylkill River in her native Philadelphia.
Janice Harayda - Washington Post
(Starred review.) Bestseller Scottoline (Lady Killer) scores another bull's-eye with this terrifying thriller about an adoptive parent's worst fear—the threat of an undisclosed illegality overturning an adoption. The age-progressed picture of an abducted Florida boy, Timothy Braverman, on a have you seen this child? flyer looks alarmingly like Philadelphia journalist Ellen Gleeson's three-year-old son, Will, whom she adopted after working on a feature about a pediatric cardiac care unit. Ellen, who jeopardizes her newspaper job by secretly researching the Braverman case, becomes suspicious when she discovers the lawyer who handled her adoption of Will has committed suicide. Meanwhile, Will's supposed birth mother, Amy Martin, dies of a heroin overdose, and Amy's old boyfriend turns out to look like the man who kidnapped Timothy. Scottoline expertly ratchets up the tension as the desperate Ellen flies to Miami to get DNA samples from Timothy's biological parents. More shocks await her back home.
If you received news that threatened your family, would you ignore it or devote yourself to proving it false? Pennsylvania reporter Ellen Gleeson is living an ordinary life with her son and cat until she receives a "Have You Seen This Child?" flyer in the mail. The boy photographed in the flyer bears a striking resemblance to her three-year-old adopted son, Will, and becomes an object of obsession for Ellen, shaking the very foundations of her family and propelling her into an investigation. Is Will really Timothy Braverman, missing since infancy? Ellen finds herself anticipating the worst as her quest for the truth progresses. In typical Scottoline (Daddy's Girl) fashion, a strong female fights for what she believes in, despite more than her share of obstacles. Scottoline's best novel to date will have faithful fans and new readers singing her praises. Highly recommended to all public libraries
In a departure from her wildly popular Rosato & Associates series, Scottoline still sticks to what she knows in this taut stand-alone: female drama, family ties, legal intrigue, and fast-paced action. A sure-fire winner. —Mary Frances Wilkens
Legal and illegal shenanigans take a back seat to mother love and its vicissitudes in Scottoline's barn-burning crossover novel about every adoptive mother's worst nightmare. Even though the escalating homicide count in Philadelphia includes more and more children and economic clouds portend layoffs at her newspaper, features reporter Ellen Gleeson has her own private store of sunshine: her three-year-old son Will, whom she fell in love with two years ago when a story about pediatric care brought her to his hospital bedside. Because Will had a heart defect and his mother couldn't care for him, she was willing to sign him over to a single mother, a decision Ellen has blessed every day of her life—until the day she sees a circular asking, "HAVE YOU SEEN THIS CHILD?" with the photograph of a boy whose resemblance to Will is uncanny. Timothy Braverman, abducted from his wealthy Florida parents, Carol and Bill, in a carjacking that went horribly wrong, hasn't been seen since. Despite her dread of confirming her fear that Will is Tim, Ellen can't help neglecting her job (with predictably dire professional results) to gather more information about him, partly because of her reporter's nose for a story, but mostly because she wants what's best for her son, no matter the cost. The trail leads her to a garage full of adoption folders, some unwelcome revelations about Will's birth mother and a tense game of hide-and-seek with the Bravermans as she realizes what a hornet's nest her questions have stirred up, and how determined someone is to make sure this is one story she doesn't break. Though the blood-and-thunder climax arrives a mite early, there's one final twist in reserve. Fans will spot the last twist a mile away, but it doesn't matter. For once Scottoline subordinates the criminal plot to the human-interest story that rides sidesaddle in all her thrillers, and the result is her best book yet.
1. Look Again really examines the notion of parenthood. What do you think makes someone a parent? Do you think the bond a child has with a non-biological parent can be as strong as one they would have with a biological parent? Why?
2. Lisa's favorite quote is one from Eleanor Roosevelt, "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she's in hot water." How does Ellen prove that she is a strong woman? Does Ellen remind you of anyone you know? Could you relate to Ellen, and did you like her? Why or why not?
3. As a journalist, Ellen has a heightened need to find the truth. In this circumstance, was this a good thing, or a bad thing? What would you have done in Ellen's place? Would you have looked for the truth, even if it meant losing your son? What do you think were Ellen's motivations?
4. The idea of "letting go" a child helped shape the whole premise of the book for Lisa, which led her to thinking about who really "owns" a child. Who do you think "owns" a child, and what exactly does that mean? If children actually "own" themselves, what then is the role of parents, and what are the limitations on parenthood?
5. If the child you raised and loved with all your heart actually belonged to someone else, and you were the only one who knew, would you give the child up? How do you think those around you would react? Who in your life would agree with your decision, and who would have done the opposite?
6. How would you describe Ellen's relationship with her father and how do you think it changed over the course of the book? Ellen considered her mother her go to parent. Do you think everyone has a go to parent, and what defines them as such?
7. What effect do you think all the drama in Will's life will have on him in the future? Do you think things ultimately worked out to his benefit or detriment and why?
8. How do you feel about single parents adopting children? What kind of, if any, additional requirements do you think should be put on single parents before they can adopt? How do you feel about open adoption? Is it better or worse for children? Is it better or worse for the adoptive parents? The biological parents? At what age do you think a child should be told they are adopted?
(Questions issued by publisher.)
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