Monday, September 25, 2017

Mommy Tuesday with Review: The Lauras by Sara Taylor

by Sara Taylor
Hogarth Press
Adult Contemporary/Coming of Age
304 pages

I didn t realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong. As we made our way from Virginia to California, returning to the places where she d lived as a child in foster care and as a teenager on the run, repaying debts and keeping promises, I learned who she was in her life-before-me and the secrets she had kept even from herself. But when life on the road began to feel normal I couldn t forget the home we d left behind, couldn t deny that, just like my mother, I too had unfinished business. 

This enigmatic pilgrimage takes them back to various stages of Alex s mother s life, each new state prompting stories and secrets. Together they trace back through a life of struggle and adventure to put to rest unfinished business, to heal old wounds and to search out lost friends. This is an extraordinary story of a life; a stunning exploration of identity and an authentic study of the relationship between a mother and her child.

The Lauras is the new novel from the exceptionally gifted author of The Shore, which was long listed for the Baileys Women s Fiction Prize and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.


This is a tale of grit, hurt, strength and finding true support.

Alex is thirteen when the mother decides to take off from the father in the middle of the night. Alex will never forget the day they drove away. The journey encompasses three years, where they travel through half of the U.S. and even into Canada. The mother reveals her past, especially tales about the Lauras, and Alex has many issues to battle and overcome.

This is a beautifully written read with many personal identification agendas. Alex carries a lot of baggage and refuses to be placed in a certain gender category. There are also issues with family, belonging, love, trust. . .and the list goes on. The story starts out very strong as Alex is ripped out of bed and hauled into a sudden trip. The emotions and happenings hit hard and are masterfully done, hooking into Alex and the story right away.

This is not a soft book but packs many punches. The author eases through tough material, stretching boundaries and making them sit. All along, the writing pulls in with vivid descriptions and heart-breaking tugs. There are some stumble blocks as far as sequencing, but most of the story flows well and lets the reader get swallowed up into Alex's world. Alex meets problem after problem as does her mother as she comes to terms with the tales of her past. This is a read, in many ways, which makes one think and churn. Then, at other times, there is simply too much. The baggage goes into over-weight, bringing up too many identification problems until it, at times, almost verges on an outright agenda. This, combined with the brutal harshness, made some areas tough to work through and had me setting the book down as it pulled out of the flow of the read. Still, I found myself coming back to it and was quickly pulled back into the story after these moments and had passed.

The ending was like the book—leaving to think. Although some ends were tied, others are left loose and questions remain unanswered. 

All in all, it's nicely written and had many things to enjoy as well as food for thought.

I received a complimentary copy through Blogging for Books and found this one interesting enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.

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