Starchild: a memory of Adoption, Race and Family by Michaela Foster Marsh

starchild book michaela

“The story of Starchild is extraordinary in every way: heartbreaking, profound, personal, brave, hopeful and deeply inspiring.” — Helen Sedgwick, author of The Comet Seekers and The Growing Season

Michaela Foster Marsh and her brother Frankie grew up as “twins” in Glasgow, Scotland in the sixties. Born only weeks apart, Michaela was white and Frankie was black, and they were an unusual sight in their dual pram. Despite the doting of his parents and the unceasing love of his sister, Frankie’s life was rarely easy, and it ended far too soon when a fire took him when he was only twenty-six. But for a devastated Michaela, Frankie’s effect on her life was only beginning. She embarks on a search to learn what she can about Frankie’s birth family, a journey that takes her to Uganda, to a culture and a family she never knew, through twists and turns and remarkable coincidences – and to a mission and to a connection with her African brethren she never could have imagined.

Starchild is a remarkably candid memoir that plays out on both a personal and global scale. It is the story of the intimacies of siblinghood and the complexities of multi-racial adoption. It is the story of the unique connection of extended family and the unique commitment to an adopted homeland. It is the story of long-held secrets revealed and long-maintained barriers broken. And it is ultimately the story of a sibling relationship that transcends borders, time, and life itself.

starchild frankie marsh


“I loved this book from start to finish. The journey Marsh takes from the death of her adopted brother to searching for his family in Uganda hits hard on so many emotional levels. It reminds us of the resiliency of the human spirit and what can be accomplished when one is fueled by conviction. STARCHILD is both a love story to a brother taken too soon and a bright spotlight directed onto the challenges of foster care and adoption.” – Charles de Lint, author of Moonheart and The Wind in His Heart

“Starchild is an odyssey; a spiritual voyage of self-discovery. Michaela Foster Marsh, through sheer – obsessive even – dedication, illuminates and highlights a path, no matter how jaggedly rocky, that can help lead towards emotional fulfillment.” – Peter McDougal, BAFTA and Prix Italia award-winning screenwriter

“Wow! I knew Michaela Foster Marsh was a fantastic singer. I didn’t know she was also a fantastic writer. Her book about her brother Frankie and the ever-twisting route that took her to changing the lives of children in Uganda is part detective novel, part intense soul-searching about the realities of adoption, and part travelogue about the colourful, and sometimes scary, reality of dealing with elusive individuals and organisations in Africa. What Michaela and her partner Rony achieved in Uganda is astonishing. The fact she can describe it so movingly in the written word is equally breathtaking.” – Ken Smith, Columnist, The Herald

“A beautifully written book, which lifts Uganda off the pages and brings to life the sounds, air and loving memories. It easily jumps back and forth from childhood memories of Scotland to Uganda. At times I felt as I read this book that I was sat in the living room with Frankie, his family or back in Uganda. It’s a book I simply didn’t wish to put down until I reached the end. Thank you so much for sharing- It was perfect and a fitting tribute.” – Aamer Anwar, Rector of the University of Glasgow and human rights lawyer

Buy book online at Amazon

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Michaela Foster Marsh chats with Pat Byrne on Podcast: Jim and Pat’s West End Chat 

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This section: New Books by Scottish Writers, Starchild, Writing

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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