Title: As if Born to You
Author: Susan Newham-Blake
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Published: 15 July 2019
When thirteen-year-old Zuri begins cutting herself, psychologist Ana is called in to help. Is the troubled girl trying to relieve the tension of being black in a predominantly white private school? And how healthy is Zuri’s relationship with Helen, the white single mom who adopted her?
Struggling to soften Zuri’s defences during the course of the therapy, Ana must piece together the puzzles of both Helen and her daughter, including the truth of what happened to Zuri’s biological mother.
But reckless, alcoholic Ana carries within her an old trauma of her own.
In Susan Newham-Blake’s moving novel, two women, equally damaged by the past and its secrets, discover that healing sometimes lies in unexpected places.
In South Africa the topic of racism is still a delicate subject despite all measures taken to ensure equality and belonging for everyone, yet the challenge still persists. As if Born to You addresses this topic in the context of adoption and implications thereof. Adoption on its own can be a challenge but inthis case its even more challenging because of race. The author does an amazing job discussing these issues and you get to see it from both perspectives (the mother and the kid). With that its easier to understand the impact some of these issues cause in people’s lives.
I loved the writting style and the story is paced perfectly whilst unraveling all the details.
The development of characters was great but I felt like I couldn’t connect with some other characters in a way that I would have loved to. But overal, the diversity potrayed in these characters was just amazing.
One thing that did not work for me was the ending. Not really sure if I wanted more details at the end but what I know is I did not get the closure that I anticipated. Apart from that, its a great book I’d highly recommend.
Thank you to Penguin Random House South Africa for sending me a review copy.