by Campbell Armstrong

“Get Rid of the Baby. Let’s Go Home.”

In I Hope You have a Good Life, Irish novelist Campbell Armstrong tells the story of his ex-wife, a English Jewish woman named Eileen Altman, and the child of her teenage years whom she was forced to give up for adoption. Campbell and Eileen met in 1961as they worked for paltry wages in a London shopping mall. He was an aspiring novelist, she the 19-year-old flamboyant, hard-partying daughter of an Orthodox Jewish family. The night of their first sexual encounter, he noticed a scar on her abdomen—the relic of a caesarean section—and she told him the story of her missing girl.
        A note on the players: Doris is Eileen’s mother, Israel (or “Issy”), her father. Sydney is her brother, who keeps her secret for years. And the author is her adoring ex, who despite their divorce and his remarriage stays close to Eileen throughout her life.

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