Monday, April 02, 2012

Review: Being Lara

• Paperback: 320 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 13, 2012)

What other explanation could there be? With her dark complexion and kinky hair, so unlike her fair-skinned parents, Lara knew she was different. At eight she finally learned the word “adopted.” Twenty-two years later, a stranger arrives as she blows out the candles on her thirtieth birthday cake—a woman in a blue-and-black head tie who also claims the title “Lara’s mother.”

Lara, always in control, now finds her life slipping free of the stranglehold she’s had on it. Unexpected, dangerously unfamiliar emotions are turning Lara’s life upside down, pulling her between Nigeria and London, forcing her to confront the truth about her past. But if she’s brave enough to embrace the lives of her two mothers, she may discover once and for all what it truly means to be Lara.

My thoughts-- Being Lara, is the story of three women woven into one novel. Alternating between present and past, this book gives an inside look at the journey of adoption from three perspectives. First there is Lara, a Nigerian orphan adopted into a Caucasian British family who struggles with being different from her parents. She endures strangers gazes, the name calling of classmates, and yearns for a connection to her birth land. After thirty years, she thought she had chosen a life she was comfortable with, but the unexpected appearance of her birth mother changes everything. Then there are Pat and Yomi, the adoptive mother and birth mother, the circumstances that led them to make the decisions they did and  how they can reconcile their love for their one daughter.

This book was an easy read, but had a lot going on between the covers. I would have liked  a little more character development. I sometimes struggled to relate to Lara and the thoughts she was thinking. I really enjoyed the alternating view points of the mothers though, as it provided some excellent insight into what each was feeling and what led them to their decisions. The secondary characters rounded out the plot and at times provided some comedic relief from what is a very heavy subject.

Overall, I would rate the book a 3 our of 5. I liked reading this book, but its not one I will reach for time and time again.

To learn more about this book and the author head over to TLC Book Tours.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review by TLC Tours and the publishing company but was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own.