A tale of motherhood
Seeking Forgiveness is a fascinating story, told in the very convincing voice of a mother--and I'm a mom, so it's a tale I could definitely relate to. When protagonist, Rachel, muses “The hardest thing about being a parent… was the worrying and doing your best but having absolutely no idea if what you were doing was good enough,” I know what she means. And I'm sure it’s a quandary all parents share.
But Rachel, the protagonist in this novel, is the white mother of an adopted African American child, in white America. She struggles to choose between living in a “poor” area with bad schools and kids that look like her son, or a “rich” area with good schools where Miles will be the exception proving the school is integrated. She wonders, should his culture or his education matter more, and why it can’t be both? And she tries to teach Miles to beware of how her (white) culture will judge him.
For myself as an immigrant mom in America, I merely wondered if my kids might be get accused of shoplifting and we'd be deported because we weren't citizens yet. Of course, friends told me I didn't need to worry because such things didn't happen to people "like us," meaning white, English-speaking people.
But this novel is not a polemic, calling readers to fix a broken world. It’s not a fable with a moral waiting at the end. It’s not a lesson in seeing how the other half lives. Instead, it’s a truly absorbing, enthralling, fictional tale that holds you on the edge of your seat, and that stays with the reader, long after the reading’s done. Seeking Forgiveness holds a mirror up to motherhood, society, and hope, all while telling a captivating tale with great characters, genuine feeling, and convincing voice. In the end, maybe hope will win both in fiction and in life.
I was given an advance reader’s copy before I scheduled the interview, and I offer my honest review of it here. I truly love this book! Highly recommended.