Sunday 20 January 2019

Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo

Finished January 10
Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo by Boris Fishman

This is totally different than what I expected going solely from the title. A middle-aged Jewish couple, both of whom immigrated from Russia, decides to adopt a baby when they are unable to have one of their own. The couple, Maya Shulman and Alex Rubin, live in close contact with Alex's parents. Maya came to the United Sates as an exchange student, while Alex came as a child with his family. Maya always had a dream of owning her own restaurant, but instead she took the more practical route, and works in a local hospital as a technician. Alex works in his father's canning business.
As the book starts, it has been eight years since the adoption of their son, Max. It was a difficult decision to adopt, and when Max first runs away, and then is found to have some quirks unlike anyone the family knows, Maya decides they must hunt down his young birth parents and learn more about his background. There is no particular aim in Maya's quest exactly, it is just something that she feels she must do to make Max fully their own. The title comes from the one request the young parents gave Maya and Alex when they met at the time of adoption.
The book has an interesting dynamic between Maya and Alex, not always a good one, and between Maya and Alex's parents.
There is some inward looking at first for Maya and her son, but when she decides to hunt down Max's birth parents, the young family goes on a cross-country trek from their home in New Jersey to Montana. Along the way they encounter landscapes new to them, and people that captivate them in different ways. One begins to wonder what Maya's plan really is.
This was a very hard book to pin down, and one that took me to places I didn't expect.

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