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Being Lara: A Novel Paperback – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062069349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062069344
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,631,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

What other explanation could there be? With her dark complexion and kinky hair, so unlike her fair-skinned parents, Lara knew she was different. At eight she finally learned the word "adopted." Twenty-two years later, a stranger arrives as she blows out the candles on her thirtieth birthday cake—a woman in a blue-and-black head tie who also claims the title "Lara’s mother."

Lara, always in control, now finds her life slipping free of the stranglehold she's had on it. Unexpected, dangerously unfamiliar emotions are turning Lara's life upside down, pulling her between Nigeria and London, forcing her to confront the truth about her past. But if she's brave enough to embrace the lives of her two mothers, she may discover once and for all what it truly means to be Lara.

About the Author

Lola Jaye was born and raised in London, England, where she still makes her home; she has also lived briefly in Nigeria. By the Time You Read This—Lola's first U.S. novel—was published by HarperCollins in 2009. Her inspirational essay "Reaching for the Stars: How You Can Make Your Dreams Come True," in which she charted her journey from foster child to author, was released in 2009 as part of the U.K.'s wildly popular Quick Reads program.


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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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I especially love the caring heart of her adopted dad.
Folamiluvs
Being Lara is ultimately about hope, love, and accepting people for who they are.
Darlene @ Peeking Between the Pages
I felt that Lara's issues were treated too simplistically in some ways.
Rachel McElhany

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Wong VINE VOICE on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
"Being Lara by Lola Jaye opened with Lara's thirtieth birthday party and she didn't really want to go to it. She is a very successful business woman working with expensive jewelry; she is "going with" a very handsome and considerate man, her mother had been a pop star in the past and she has a very loving father.

Lara flashes back to memories of when she was five. She had been called an "alien" because she looked different from her classmates. Her birth mother was in Nigeria and her adoptive parents were both white. As she gets older showing emotions is like touching a very hot stove with her bare hands. Alternating with the present and the past for the sections titled Lara, this book also alternates with the stories of her two mothers.

Pat tells her story of growing up in South London and not quite fitting into her family, being an introvert. She still felt sad about her losing her father. She felt closer to him than anyone. She met and married an unusually sensitive man with a loving nature and an open ear for Pat. He actually knows Pat more than she does herself.

Yomi, her Nigerian mother also goes back to childhood of poverty and longing for a "Jane Austin type of life". Not only do learn about her life, you learn Nigerian customs, foods and growing up in Lagos, Nigeria. She is hopelessly in love with Henry, a handsome gentleman who is also poor. Later in the story we are privileged to be introduced to incredibly wise mother.

So, these three stories come together and explain Lara. She is special but she has a lot of trouble relating to people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Jones on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
A story that kept me turning pages from beginning to end. A little girl suddenly realizes that she is different from everyone else, her parents don't look like her and neither does the rest of her family. Lara has a hard time finding out the reality of her situation and upon entering her 30th year she is finally finding out the real truth.

Jumping from past and present and between different characters, the reader gets the whole picture for this book - through the eyes of Lara, her adopted mother and her birth mother. The reader finds out the history that leads each woman to where they are now in the present grappling with forming a new family unit. I thought this was a fresh approach to the world of adoption. We find out how she came to live at an orphanage and then what led her to London with her adopted parents.

I would recommend this to readers of all genres. This story was a new take that I think most readers would enjoy. It was a great read to find out how a young girl feels when she knows that her family isn't the norm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JudithAnn on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Lara is a successful business woman who was adopted at the age of 3, when her parents, her mother a well-known pop star, visited Nigeria for a charity project, saw her at an orphanage, and fell in love with her.

The book goes back in time and we read the stories of Yomi, Lara's birth mother, and that of Pat, her adoptive mother. Why Lara ended up in an orphanage, we only find out towards the end of the book.

Lara has always had problems with abandonment and so far, at 30, has had several relationships but spoiled them for herself by expecting the partners to run off. Her newest boyfriend, Tyler, is a lovely man, but he can't convince her that he's there to stay.

When Lara finally meets her birth mother, she finds it hard to get close to her. She slowly starts to grow into the new Lara, who has a history not only in England, but also in Nigeria, and into a woman who dares to take some risks and doesn't worry about being abandoned along the way.

This was a good story about what it is like to be adopted. I liked it that Lara's mother's life in Nigeria (up to the point that Lara was born) was included in this story. It was interesting to know her back story and to learn more about Nigeria sin the 1970s and 1980s.

I didn't like Lara all that much, though. She was neurotic about expecting her boyfriend to run off, and for that reason, didn't even want him to to get close to her. She was rather business-like and cool. I'm not sure I was completely convinced by her fear of being abandoned. She'd had many years with her adoptive parents and had been abandoned by her birth mother when she was too young to remember it. I found that story line rather weak.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Folamiluvs on May 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
"Being Lara" is a great read that covers two continents. You can actually feel the pain of Yomi and Mum as you turn the pages. I especially love the caring heart of her adopted dad.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By McGuffy Ann Morris on July 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
Lara is eight years old when she discovers that she is adopted. She has always felt out of place, however. She always struggled with issues of somehow being different, looking different, and is used to holding herself in check.

Upon her 30th birthday, she finally meets her birth mother, and feels an immediate connection. Though she fights this feeling, she feels herself drawn in by her biological mother. Lara is forced to reconcile her life as an adopted child.

As we see Lara come to terms with who she is, we also see her come to understand both of the important women in her life, her mothers. As she learns about her past and her mothers, she learns she must allow herself to open up, in order to find understanding, peace, embrace who she is and who she is to become.

This emotional and interesting novel looks at adoption from three distinct women's viewpoints: daughter, biological mother, and adoptive mother. It is a journey of self-discovery, and also of motherhood.
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