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 received this book from the publisher, Hot Key Books, in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed the quiet introspection this book provided.
Angie is a girl who just looking for her roots, for who she is, and I think that’s really relatable. And I really liked her and how her story worked out. Especially the moments she talks about being mixed race with a white mum – it’s clear that she loves her mum but those moments are really (understandably) tough for her. I liked her relationship with Sam less though – largely cause while I get her attitude, I’m on Sam’s side!
Marilyn is trying to get to her future despite all the things in her way. I sort of found her harder to connect with initially, but she became my favourite – possibly because of James and Justin who are great as well. Her tough relationship with her mum and her slow and gorgeous relationship with James are both really well written. I think her life must have been so hard, and again I like that she appears to get some resolution towards the end.
A lovely contemporary read that will make you think about family. 3.5 stars.