Release date: August 15th 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Synopsis via Goodreads:
From the national bestselling and award-winning ReShonda Tate Billingsley comes this gripping and emotional exploration of the complex bond between mother and daughter.
From the time Brooke Green was seven years old, she has lived with the pain of losing her mother. Her father has done the best job he could in raising her, but a piece of her always felt empty. On the day of her father’s funeral, her grandmother breaks the shocking news: her mother, Sarah, is very much alive. She abandoned her family because she claimed she wasn’t fit for motherhood.
After doing some research, Brooke discovers her mother is living in Atlanta, enjoying a great career…and a brand new family. Stunned, Brooke doesn’t know if she wants answers or revenge against the mother who abandoned her. When she meets Sarah’s husband, Anthony, Brooke sees the perfect way to make her mother pay. But her plan for revenge just may leave everyone in danger, and end up costing Brooke more than she ever bargained for.
I discovered Seeking Sarah on Netgalley and became intrigued after reading the blurb. I wanted to understand what could have possibly compelled a mother to leave her child behind, and I was curious about Brooke’s character and the ways abandonment had affected her.
The story started out quite interesting. Although Brooke had a lot going for her–a doting man and a promising career–she had a hole in her heart. One that could never be filled, no matter how she had the love of her father, grandmother, and cousin. She was also welcomed by her boyfriends family and treated as if she was a part of them. But then things started to unravel a tad after Trent proposed. Brooke knew he was perfect for her and that they both loved each other, yet she just couldn’t shake the emptiness in her heart and the feeling of uncertainty.
A lot of the emotions Brooke displayed stemmed from loss; losing her mother at a young age, and then losing her first fiance. Her pain was understandable and undoubtedly relatable. I couldn’t imagine going through something like that and still managed to keep going. However, my connection to her character started to dwindle after the passing of her father. Following the big reveal that he and Brooke’s grandmother had lied about her mother’s death and had faked the memorial service, Brooke became pretty much out of control. She did things that had me shaking my head and wondering how she could all of a sudden throw away her morals and partake in such appalling acts.
The downhill began the moment Brooke made the decision to go to Atlanta. I thought she was going to take a few days to just meet her mother and feel out the situation, but then she went as far as to transfer and live there. I mean, Trent wasn’t as supportive as a loving fiance ought to be, but regardless, they were in a relationship, and Brooke basically disregarded everyone and everything in her life for someone who had chosen not to be a part of it. I get the rush and excitement of finding out your mother is alive and wanting to go find her and reconnect. But I feel like Brooke needed to take some time to gather her thoughts and consider every possibility before doing anything. And she definitely should have taken a step back once she’d arrived in Atlanta and her fantasy reunion turned out to be just that, a fantasy. Instead, she transformed into a conniving villain from a Lifetime movie and made the situation even more difficult for herself.
Brooke ended up losing so much more, and while it was sad, I stopped sympathizing with her because of the way she’d constantly bury herself in problem after problem, behaved like an immature twenty-year-old at times, and often dismissed people but then wanted them back as if their life should be placed on hold for her. I guess you could say this was all the effects of abandonment but wow, the whole thing was so dramatic. By the end of the story, I just wanted Brooke to get counseling and work on herself. Even after everything, she still deserved happiness.
ReShonda Tate Billingsley is a general assignment reporter for KRIV-TV, the Fox affiliate in Houston, Texas. She is the author of the nonfiction book Help! I’ve Turned Into My Mother! and three previous adult novels: My Brother’s Keeper, for which she received the prestigious Gold Pen Award for Best New Author from the Black Writer’s Alliance and the Nova Lee Nation Award from the Greater Dallas Writing Association; the national bestseller Let the Church Say Amen, chosen for Library Journal’s Best of 2004 list for Christian fiction; and I Know I’ve Been Changed, a Main Selection of the Black Expressions Book Club. Her previous Christian teen novels are Nothing But Drama and Blessings in Disguise, both available from Pocket Books. She is also a contributor to the story anthology Have a Little Faith.
*Received a physical copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.