Sunday, July 05, 2020

Here We Are Now, by Jasmine Warga

For her first sixteen years, Tal has had only her mother in her life. But a few years ago, Tal came across a shoebox of clipping and developed a suspicion that her father was a famous rock star.  But until Julian Oliver of SITA showed up on her front door, Tal didn't know for certain.  Sixteen years and suddenly he wants to know her!

The reason is simple enough (his father is dying and he thinks that Tal should meet her grandfather before it is too late) but it leaves her with lots of questions:  Why now? And how will his family treat her?

The homecoming is predictably awkward and messy, but Tal is surprised to find how welcome she is and how comfortable she feels with this family that she never knew.  And through some pressure, she gets her father and mother to tell the true story of how they met and why they separated and kept her in the dark about her father's identity.

Warga does well-developed characters and good dialogue and that makes this otherwise forgettable story compelling enough to read.  Some of the fault lies in Warga's focus on the parents' story.  It's interesting but don't get to know Tal and really appreciate how these discoveries help her grow.  Her own issues with trust are introduced but not developed.  A tangent (a budding romance with a neighbor) that could have tested Tal's trust issues is left hanging.

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