In Search of Us
In Search of Us
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Annotation: This multi-generational mother-daughter love story tells the tale of single mother Marilyn and her own daughter, Angie, who makes some unexpected discoveries when she hits the road to discover the truth about her birth father.
Genre: Love stories
Catalog Number: #159767
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 403 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-374-30531-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-374-30531-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2017019595
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Seventeen-year-old biracial Angie grew up believing her father was dead. When she discovers her mom ("the kind...other kids ought to be jealous of") might have lied, Angie sets off to learn the truth. Chapters alternate between Angie's present-day story and that of her mother, Marilyn, as a teenager. Though the prose can be overwrought, Dellaria's portrayal of family dynamics is sympathetic and complex.
Kirkus Reviews
Mother and daughter move through parallel journeys separated by time but connected by introspection in Dellaira's (Love Letters to the Dead, 2014) latest.Told in alternating voices and timelines, this narrative explores two young women's searches for completion. Marilyn Miller, 17 in the late 1990s and dreaming of the freedom of college, must contend with her mother's plans for her to become a rising star in Hollywood. Stretched to the breaking point between the promise of self-determination and the weight of her mother's hopes, Marilyn, a blonde white girl, finds relief and unexpected romance with her enigmatic black neighbor, James. Fast-forward 18 years to meet Angie Miller, Marilyn and James' biracial daughter, who has lived her entire life believing her father was dead. When she discovers that her mother has lied about this, Angie journeys to Los Angeles with her ex-boyfriend Sam (also biracial, with a white father and Mexican mother) to find the missing pieces that have distanced her from Sam. Exploring the dynamic tension between identity and relationships, and the realities of violence and racism (although less so white privilege), the separate narratives converge to tell one family's story of pain and loss, love and forgiveness. Time jumps occasionally disrupt cohesion, and readers unfamiliar with the '90s may find Marilyn's narrative irksomely referential, but overall, this is a compelling intergenerational tale.Achingly vibrant. (Fiction. 14-adult)
Publishers Weekly
Dellaira-s debut novel, Love Letters to the Dead, was good; her second, which tells two connected tales set 18 years apart, is spectacular. First comes the story of 17-year-old Marilyn, whose mother is so committed to her daughter-s future stardom that she moves them into a tiny Los Angeles apartment with Marilyn-s unwelcoming, alcoholic uncle. But Marilyn-s vision of her future involves going to college, taking photos, and making a life with her smart and handsome new neighbor, James. Next comes the present-day story of Marilyn-s biracial daughter, Angie, also 17, who wonders about the father she never met. Did he really die in a car crash? Does she have relatives who look like her? Will knowing her past help her find her way forward? Past and present collide when Angie runs away from Albuquerque to L.A. to find the man she thinks may be her uncle. Readers will be left sobbing, both for the characters they-ve come to love and for the state of the country-Dellaira draws on persistent racial divides to craft an ending that is surprising yet inevitable, heartbreaking, and hopeful. Ages 12-up. Agent: Richard Florest, Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Mar.)

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Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
Kirkus Reviews
Horn Book (8/1/18)
Word Count: 88,702
Reading Level: 5.6
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.6 / points: 14.0 / quiz: 198255 / grade: Upper Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:6.7 / points:21.0 / quiz:Q72802
Lexile: 880L

The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a sweeping multi-generational story of a single mother and her biracial daughter, each at age seventeen. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When she was seventeen, Marilyn 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 Los Angeles 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. Alternating between Angie's present-day journey and Marilyn's romance set against the backdrop of LA in the '90s, the stories of In Search of Us intertwine to create a powerful tale about secrets and lies, race and identity, and mothers and daughters. Praise for In Search of Us "A rare and special book. Part mother-daughter love story, part road trip journey, part compelling mystery, and one hundred percent beautiful, spellbinding tearjerker. I'm in love with every page." --Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe "A masterful work of fiction. Exploring race and mother and daughter relationships, this novel is also one of the most tender and authentic takes on first love that I have ever read." --Jennifer Mathieu, author of MOXIE

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