Postcards from Cookie
Caroline Clarke

Book cover image

Narrated By: Caroline Clarke

Duration: 9 hours and 28 minutes

What to expect

Award-winning journalist and host of Black “Enterprise” Business Report Caroline Clarke’s moving memoir of her surprise discovery of her birthmother—Cookie Cole, the daughter of Nat King Cole—and the relationship that blossomed between them through the heartfelt messages they exchanged on hundreds of postcards

Caroline Clarke was born in an era when adoptions were shameful, secret, and sealed. While she wondered about her biological parents, she kept her curiosity in check, until a series of small health problems raised concerns about her genetic heritage and its consequences for her two children’s lives as well as her own.

Though Spence-Chapin Family Service, the agency that handled her adoption, could not reveal the name of her birth mother, it was able to provide details that lead to a shocking truth. Caroline’s birth mother and her family were related to a friend. The woman who gave her life was none other than Carole “Cookie” Cole, the daughter of iconic crooner and pianist Nat King Cole.

Drawing on details provided by the agency and her own investigative skills, Caroline embarked on a life-changing journey of discovery that stretched from coast to coast, forged through email, phone calls, and postcards. The constancy, volume, and intimacy of her steady correspondence with Cookie filled the days and distance between them. Through brief yet poignant messages squeezed onto three-inch open-faced squares, mother and daughter revealed themselves, sharing secrets, taking risks, and ultimately building a bond like no other.

A heartfelt, inspiring tribute to both Caroline’s adoptive parents and her biological mother, Postcards from Cookie illuminates the enduring power of love to shape and guide our lives.


Biography: general, Gender studies: women and girls, Memoirs

Listen to a sample

“A moving account of a woman who finally finds out who she is.”

New York Times Book Review

“A loving…account of the enduring power of family love.”

Booklist (starred review)

“A sensitive memoir of identity and self-discovery…Splendid, soul-baring.”

Publishers Weekly

“A moving account of a woman who finally finds out who she is.”

New York Times Book Review

“Page after elegant, funny, and poignant page, Postcards from Cookie astounds. The power of Clarke’s writing is matched by the complex and remarkable relationship between two extraordinary and unforgettable women.”


“Her narration is gripping…Clarke effectively explores her crisis of identity by peeling back layer after layer of a complex, riveting personal history…A captivating memoir.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Their journey of reunion is captured with sensitivity, as Caroline describes all the anxieties (including those of her adopted parents) in this touching diary which reveals the joys and sorrows of adoption.”