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Echoed in My Bones

ISBN: 9781940189246
Binding: Paperback
Author: Lisa A. Sturm
Pages: 320
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 8/15/2019

When sixteen-year-old Lakisha White surrenders her newborns, Jasmine who looks black, and Tessa who looks white, are raised in neighboring New Jersey towns, but worlds apart. Jasmine scrapes through a harrowing childhood in the foster-care system while Tessa struggles with her perfectionist mother and the pressures of being the youngest child in a high-achieving family of physicians and attorneys. Neither Jasmine nor Tessa know of each other's existence until Lakisha's son is diagnosed with leukemia. In order to find a compatible bone-marrow donor, Lakisha is forced to choose between keeping her traumatic history hidden from her longtime boyfriend, or searching for the daughters she abandoned. How Lakisha, Jasmine, and Tessa come together again is the story of the mistakes that threaten to destroy us and the injuries that echo in our bones; the ones that only love can heal.


Lisa Sturm’s short stories have been published in literary journals such as Tulane Review, Serving House Journal, Mom Egg Review, Willow Review, and Turk’s Head Review, and in an anthology entitled Sisters Born, Sisters Found (Wordforest Press, 2015)She received the Willow Review Fiction Award and the Writer’s Relief Peter K. Hixson Wild Card/Fiction Award for selections from her debut novel, Echoed in My Bones, a story inspired by her work as an inner-city psychotherapist. She has degrees from Barnard College and New York University School of Social Work, and is now in private practice in Mountainside, New Jersey. A former fitness/dance instructor, she’ll use any excuse to sneak out to a Zumba class or grab a good novel and find a shady spot beneath a leafy tree.


'"Echoed in My Bones deals with interracial adoption. I chose to read it as I adopted a biracial child years ago and am interested in the topic. I also read the National Geographic "Black and White" issue (April 2018) with a photograph of twins, one black and one white, on the cover. This book tells of a similar pair of twins. The twins of the novel are separated at birth from their mother - and from each other. Though growing up in neighboring New Jersey towns, they have lives that diverge radically. One is adopted; the other begins foster family hell. This carefully crafted book explores issues of race and privilege. Though Ms. Sturm writes with expertise gained during her years as a family therapist, she understands the weaknesses and the strengths of the foster care system. She never allows her characters to become case studies, though. Rather she writes fully-formed characters with flaws and ambitions, giving the reader multiple points-of-view from which to engage the novel.

By tracing the lives of these twins, Sturm proves that one's destiny is determined by the color of one's skin and shows just how entrenched white privilege is. Yet her characters move beyond the expected as broken family bonds reform. This should be required reading." -- Midwest Book Review, Suanne Schafer

"Lisa A. Sturm’s debut novel, Echoed in My Bones, does not avoid the hard and complicated aspects of adoption, the foster care system, and dealing with past trauma. However, Sturm also manages to pull a thread of hope and love throughout the novel. At its core of Echoed in My Bones is about the decisions people make in order to survive and how those decisions echo through life. The novel highlights the difficult choices people make in order to survive, being caught up in the foster care system, growing up with an absent or drug-addicted parent, a child facing a cancer diagnosis, and the longing for knowledge of one’s birth family as an adoptee." -- Mom Egg Review, Emily Webber