Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Second Time We Met by Leila Cobo

Adored and nurtured by his adoptive parents in California, Asher Stone has moved effortlessly through a nearly perfect life. He is on the verge of a professional soccer career-when a car accident throws his future into doubt. Suddenly, Asher begins to wonder about his past, and about the girl who gave him up for adoption in Colombia two decades ago. And so begins his search for a woman named Rita Ortiz.

From the teeming streets of Bogata to a tiny orphanage tucked into a hillside, Asher untangles the mystery of Rita's identity, her abrupt disappearance from her home, and the winding journey that followed. But as Asher comes closer to finding Rita, his own parents are faced with fears and doubts. And Rita must soon make her own momentous choice: stay hidden in her hard-earned new life, or meet the secret son who will bring painful memories-or the promise of a new beginning . . .


If you read one book this summer, you'll want to make it The Second Time We Met.  Cobo's writing draws the reader into the lives of Rita and Asher and doesn't let go until the very end.  In fact, I'm still thinking about the story after I've finished it.  The mark of a great storyteller.  Rita is young and beautiful growing up in Colombia when her town is filled with guerrillas.   Months later, she's pregnant and her father casts her out.  Owning nothing but the clothes on her back, she is determined her child will have a better life so she puts him up for adoption.

Asher grows up in a middle class home in America and although he knows he is adopted, really doesn't think about it too much.  His parents love him unconditionally and he really hasn't wanted for anything.  But when an accident almost takes his life, he sees the truth within himself.  He wants to meet his parents and know why they gave him up.  What embarks is a heart-rending journey that only Asher can take.  With his girlfriend in tow, he travels to Colombia to find his mother, Rita.  But Rita has been very careful rebuilding her life and may not want to be found.

The intensity of characterization and tight plotting will enchant readers and leave them with a deeper understanding of motherhood, adoption and the questions everyone usually asks at least one time in their lives... who am I?

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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