by Lola Jaye
Pub. Date: March 13, 2012
Book received from: Publisher via TLC Book Tours
Lara’s story begins with her thirtieth birthday party, when she sees a woman who at her party whom she does not know. What follows is the story of how she has gotten to this point in her life. Lara is a Nigerian girl who was adopted when she was three years old by a white British couple. Growing up, she realizes that she is different than everyone else around her, and she must learn to come to terms with what that means in the context of her life.
When her birth mother shows up at her birthday party, Lara is taken on a journey through the eyes of both her birth mother and her adoptive mother. We learn the story of all three of these women and how their lives became intertwined. It is explained why Lara’s birth mother had to give away her child, and how her adoptive mother came to find her. In what seems like two different worlds, the three women find the connections which bind them all, whether by choice or by circumstance.
While the story was easy to read, I found it somewhat difficult to connect with the characters at times. It was interesting to have the different voices, but there were times they all began to sound too much alike and fell flat as a result. I would have really liked to have seen Lara’s character filled out a lot more, as I never really felt connected to her as I did to her mothers. While I thought the stories the characters had to tell were important and interesting, they lacked the impact I thought they were going to have in the end.
Being Lara is an exploration into identity politics in regards to race and adoption. Jaye gives us an easy story to understand why people must make the choices they do, and how those choices affect the lives of others, for better or worse. The three women in the story are all so different that we are given the chance to explore different perspectives of the same issues, and learn not to judge others for the choices they feel they must make. For those that have never really felt like they quite belong, or for those that are searching for who they are, Being Lara may help along the way in their search for connection.
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This book can be purchased at Amazon.com, as well as your local independent bookseller.
For more about Lola Jaye, go to her website here.