'Umbilicus' is a YA novoir (novel + memoir), based on my personal journey of going in search of and reuniting with my birth mother. It was published in May 2016.

Over on my website you'll find a FAQ page with plenty of behind-the-scenes info on my writing process, a Gallery of all the real-life people on whom the characters are based, the Soundtrack to the story, and loads more. Warning: Spoiler Alert!

If you'd like to own the full book, it's available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback format: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F23YFRS
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • JoinedApril 21, 2014


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Story by Paula Gruben
Umbilicus: An autobiographical novel by PaulaGruben
Umbilicus: An autobiographical novel General Fiction
Charlotte van Katwijk guards herself like a secret. Kids are cruel, and she knows if they find out she's adopted, she'll be a bully's easy target. When they are fourteen, Charlotte's best friend's mom commits sui...