THE SECOND TIME WE MET by Leila Cobo
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Division of The Hachette Book Group
At the request of The Hachette Book Group, a TPB was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest opinion.
Synopsis (from publisher): Asher Stone grew up in an idyllic California family. His mother Linda made sure of that. She never wanted her son to feel different from other kids, just because he was adopted. She was a loving, devoted mother, and Asher a happy, healthy boy. So when a life-changin accident causes Asher to question his identity, he suddenly announces that he needs to learn about his roots, Linda is caught off guard. Asher doesn’t want to hurt his mother, but something inside him is driving him to find out exactly where he came from. And so he takes off on a journey to Colombia in search of his birth mother.
Interspersed throughout Asher’s story is that of his mother’s, Rita. Moving back in time we watch as a young Rita begins a clandestine affair with a revolutionary soldier–a guerilla warrior who loved her deeply but couldn’t leave the cause to care for her, not if he wanted to keep her safe. Rita is left alone and pregnant, with no support from her family. And though it breaks her heart, she makes the agonizing decision to give up her baby.
How can Asher, a young man who has never known hardship understand her decision? Can they have any kind of relationship–and where does that leave Linda if they do?
My Thoughts and Opinion: Musing, a word that this debut author penned many times in this story. Ironically, when the last word was read and the book placed in my finished pile, I was left with several thought provoking musings of my own.
As I mentioned, this was Ms. Cobo’s debut novel, which surprised me in the manner of her writing style. Especially since it alternated between the times of 1989 to present and then in between but it all flowed smoothly. She had a flair to bring the characters to life, to feel their emotions, to root for some, to not like others. To feel their frustrations, expectations, fears, anxiety, guilt and so much more. Even though the story line was predictable, the lives of the characters, their actions, and decisions they made, kept me turning the pages. An impressive and poignant read.