July 31, 2013

Stage Daughter

"What is this expression you Americans have about a pot and a kettle? We say something similar in Arabic: The camel cannot see the crookedness of its own neck." ~ pg. 73

Sonya Schoenberg dreamed of becoming an actress until a one-time tryst with a Muslim man led to an unplanned pregnancy. Sonya was forced to put her dream on hold to raise biracial daughter, Razzi. Pre-teen Razzi is enrolled in a performing arts school and going through a rebellious stage. It starts off with Razzi piercing her own ears, failing math, then leads to her finding her father Aziz without Sonya's consent. Never mind that he is a father of two in an arranged marriage and had no idea Razzi even existed. ((O_O)) Sonya is playing the lifetime role of mother; Aziz is trying to convert newfound stage daughter to Islam. All the while, Razzi is determined to make this family a modern-day success.

America changed after the unfortunate events of 9/11. It is the sad reality that people of certain cultures are viewed differently and judged. This is one of the few books I have read that approaches this subject in a fiction manner.

"That was before nine-eleven...I mean, where you came from didn't matter so much back then." ~ pg. 130

I first had the pleasure of reading a book written by Sheryl Sorrentino this past March (The Floater). Sheryl is a practicing attorney by day and still finds time to write. Now that is dedication! I am glad she stepped out on a limb with the characters in her fourth novel, Stage Daughter. It was necessary, especially with current real life events, to bring light to issues such as religious and ethnic prejudice. What prompted Sheryl Sorrentino to write a book with such a powerful message? She explains, "While Stage Daughter is compelling in its lively depiction of this troubled threesome, most near and dear to me are the issues of religious and ethnic prejudice and promotion of diversity that are at its core. In fact, I have come to discover that my true purpose and penchant as a writer is to give life to these topics. Nearly fifty years after Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech, we still have significant chasms to bridge when it comes to racial equality and cultural acceptance." 

Stage Daughter releases tomorrow. I encourage my bookhearts to read it for the good meaningful story, diverse cast, and the underlying message. Central themes such as healing, forgiveness, unplanned pregnancy, single parenthood, religion, rebellion, sexuality, racism and bigotry are explored within the 300+ pages. This is a very good pick for a diverse book club, complete with 21 discussion questions that will definitely spark positive discussion amongst readers. 

Sheryl Sorrentino welcomes questions and feedback from readers. Check out her official website, Facebook and Goodreads blog.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the author for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: Stage Daughter
Author: Sheryl Sorrentino
Published: August 2013
Pages: 349
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥


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