Today I’m sharing with you Laura’s guest review of Ava Dellaira’s second novel, In Search of Us. Thanks to Hot Key Books for the opportunity.
Print Length: 417 pages
Publisher: Hot Key Books (6 Mar. 2018)
Available to purchase in digital and audio formats with the paperback publishing March 2019.
Marilyn is in search of freedom. She grew up as a child actor, her mother’s meal ticket out of mediocrity. But it’s been a long time since she booked a job, and she and her mother have no choice but to move in with her volatile uncle. Marilyn is counting down the days until she can escape to college, and the promise of her own future. That is, until she falls in love with James, the boy downstairs, who shows her that her life is worth living in the present. At 17, Marilyn is about to learn that everything can change in an instant.
Angie is in search of answers. She is mixed race and has never met her father, but she knows she looks and thinks a lot like him. Though Angie grew up with her devoted mother, Marilyn, she’s always felt the absence of the man she never knew. But after discovering that her mother has been lying to her, Angie sets off on a road trip to Los Angeles, in search of an unknown uncle – and maybe even her dad. At 17, she hopes to finally find out the truth about where she came from so she can discover who she truly is.
Told in two perspectives, Marilyn’s in the late 90s, and Angie’s now, IN SEARCH OF US is a sweeping intergenerational story about mothers and daughters, love and loss, holding on and letting go.
I enjoyed this emotional story about identity, belonging, family and love.
The two main characters are mother and daughter with chapters spilt into the past and present. The story follows both as teenagers, Marilyn’s past and Angie’s present.
Marilyn, stifled by her mother and feeling trapped, while Angie found herself on the search for her father and family. Angie is occupied with the size of the world’s population and her own sense of belonging.
Marilyn decided to protect her daughter from the past however a photograph led Angie to discover the secret to her own existence.
The chapters were easy to follow as each narrator held their own tone but I preferred Marilyn’s. I found there was more depth to her story and I was eager to find out what happened to Angie’s father, James. At times I got bored of Angie’s relationship with her on/off boyfriend, Sam. Although I enjoyed the different perspectives between mother and daughter.
The descriptions of LA and California gave a warmth to this heart breaking tale.
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