Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Engaging, With Some Flaws

Stage Daughter by Sheryl Sorrentino (Self-Published, 2013, 358pp.)

Sonya Schoenberg, once an aspiring actress with big dreams, has now resigned herself to single motherhood. For the past twelve years, she has been a dedicated parent, doing her best to support her daughter’s creative side by enrolling her in San Francisco’s prestigious Oakland Regional Conservatory for the Arts.The problem? Sonya thinks Razia should be a drama student; Razia would rather be an artist. But what are offspring for, if not to fulfill their parents’ failed dreams? The other problem? Razia wants to meet her biological father. Not going to happen, as far as Sonya is concerned. But Razia is determined. She discovers that her father is none other than Aziz Qureshi, a celebrated Kawaiti-born yoga instructor who’s married with two children—and completely unaware of her existence. To her anger, Sonya forbids her from having anything to do with him. Bitter drama ensues as Aziz fights Sonya for the right to be in his new-found daughter’s life. While I enjoyed the story, I felt that at 358 pages, the novel runs a little overlong because of its limited range of action. Sonya’s role in the story is somewhat limited by her repetitive behavior (insulting Aziz, blaming other people for her problems, etc.), which has the potential to affect the pacing. Regardless of this, however, it’s overall an engaging story worth reading at least once. I would definitely be interested in reading more of this author’s work.

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