Monday, March 19

The Second Time We Met by Leila Cobo

Asher Stone grew up in an idyllic California family. His mother Linda made sure of that. She never wanted her son to feel different from other kids, just because he was adopted. She was a loving, devoted mother, and Asher a happy, healthy boy. So when a life-changing accident causes Asher to question his identity, he suddenly announces that he needs to learn about his roots, Linda is caught off guard. Asher doesn't want to hurt his mother, but something inside him is driving him to find out exactly where he came from. And so he takes off on a journey to Colombia in search of his birth mother.

Interspersed throughout Asher's story is that of his mother's, Rita. Moving back in time we watch as a young Rita begins a clandestine affair with a revolutionary soldier--a guerilla warrior who loved her deeply but couldn't leave the cause to care for her, not if he wanted to keep her safe. Rita is left alone and pregnant, with no support from her family. And though it breaks her heart, she makes the agonizing decision to give up her baby.

How can Asher, a young man who has never known hardship understand her decision? Can they have any kind of relationship--and where does that leave Linda if they do?

Renowned journalist and former concert pianist, Leila Cobo is a native of Cali, Colombia. The Executive Director of Latin Content & Programming for Billboard, she is a frequent contributor to NPR and has written liner notes for acts such as Ricky Martin, Shakira and Chayanne. She is also the host of the television show Estudio Billboard, which features in-depth interviews with top Latin acts. Leila is a Fulbright scholar with a graduate degree from the Annenberg School of Communications at USC and holds dual degrees in journalism, from Bogota's Universidad Javeriana, and in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

She currently lives in Key Biscayne, Fl. with her husband and children.

It is hard to imagine the anguish of a young teenage girl being forced to leave her home and family, and then having to face an unplanned pregnancy on her own. She somehow found the strength and fortitude to make a successful future for herself, and she never looked back.

That is, except for the quiet alone times where her heart was torn apart. She couldn't help but wonder where her young son was living, and if he was happy. Twenty plus years later, her son does whatever he can to find his biological mother but she has changed her name and the trail is almost non-existent.

The Second Time We Met is a story of two mothers and the son that they shared. It gives the  personal perspectives of both mothers, as well as the thoughts and feelings of their son. This is a transparent and enlightening look at adoption from all sides.  I highly recommend this new book by Leila Cobo, it is definitely a keeper in my personal library.

Review copy received courtesy of Hachette Book Group/Grand Central Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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