Sunday 25 November 2018

Being Lara

Finished November 3
Being Lara by Lola Jaye

I picked up this novel because my sister's name is Lara, and I was intrigued by the character being a black girl adopted by white parents, which is also my sister's situation. But the rest of the book and the character differed widely from my personal experiences.
Lara's mother grew up in a council house in Britain, the youngest in the family, and a shy girl who loved to sing. She met a man who encouraged her singing, and who thought the world of her. She had a short but successful career, and, was involved in a charity for African orphans. It is on a visit to the orphanage in Africa that she first sees the young child Omolara, and is smitten by her.
We also see the situation of Omolara's birth mother and why she chooses to give her up. All this is background. As the book opens, Lara is turning 30, and her birth mother has appeared unexpectedly. She isn't sure how to react, and this book follows through her reactions, those of her friends and boyfriend, and of her adoptive parents.
There is uncertainty, curiosity, anger, resentment, and other emotions that show up in the various characters, and it is by working her way through these that the adult Lara figures out who she is. A coming of age story, with a bit of a twist.

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