Book Review: In Search of Us

Reviewed by Donna Hinrichs

Ava Dellaira’s novel In Search of Us encompasses two stories of a mother and daughter who must overcome various obstacles in two very different societies. However, these stories have several surprising similarities. The novel is placed in Los Angeles and oscillates between the modern city and the city of the 1990s.

In Search of Us begins with the story of Marilyn at age seventeen in the ‘90s, who moves to Los Angeles with her mother to pursue an acting career. However, Marilyn has had little success and is only doing this for her mother’s enjoyment. Throughout this process, Marilyn meets and falls in love with the boy downstairs—James—who is the father of Angie, Marilyn’s daughter, who is introduced in her own story seventeen years later. Angie yearns to know her father, and when new evidence surfaces that can shed some light on her father, she travels to Los Angeles in search of the truth.

I feel that many teenagers and adolescents can relate to the issues that circulate in In Search of Us. Personally, I relate to Marilyn’s story and obstacles more than Angie’s, for I am soon heading off to college myself and making my own future. The issues discussed in the novel certainly make it worth reading.

Donna Hinrichs was a graduating senior in the Gifted program at Hahnville High School. She enjoys music, sports, and beauty. Donna plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi to study Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology.

Editor’s note: Book reviews are published throughout the summer and fall in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program and Unger’s “Adolescents Advocate Literacy” Brown Service Learning Grant.


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