When Jeremy Harding was a child, his mother, Maureen, told him he wasadopted. She described his natural parents as a Scandinavian sailor and a“little Irish girl” who worked in a grocery. It was only later, as Harding setout to look for traces of his birth mother, that he began to understand whohis adoptive mother really was—and the benign make-believe world shebuilt for herself and her little boy. Evoking a magical childhood spent intransit between west London and a decrepit houseboat on the banks of theRiver Thames, Mother Country is both a detective quest, as Harding searchesthrough the public records for clues about his natural mother, and a richsocial history of a lost London from the 1950s. Mother Country is a powerfultrue story about a man looking for the mother he had never known andfinding out how little he understood the one he had grown up with.