Another lovely book provided by the publishers in exchange for an honest review, so here we go:
In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira
The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn’s tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie’s story is about her search for her unknown father.
This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie’s father, James, who was African-American. But Angie’s never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she’s never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.
I started this book without many expectations mostly because I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I admit I wasn’t Angie’s biggest fan all through this, but I did love Marilyn and kept rooting for her.
The story spans through two generations, both of them at 17 and trying to figure out what to do next. Marilyn is trying to go to college while her mother keeps trying to get her to become a model and a wonderful Hollywood success (something that Marilyn isn’t too fussed about). After moving with her uncle, she ends up falling in love and you follow her story alongisde her daughter’s story (Angie).
It was interesting to see the generational change despite them being the same age while they tell their story. And I loved the little quirks of each character that made them their very own. I wasn’t too happy with Marilyn’s decision to move on and hide the truth from Angie, but otherwise, it was a lovely read.
I’d say if you’re into family tales, try The Dissapearances or The Memory Trees, but In Search of Us is also a good choice (obviously).