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Being Lara (2012)

It's Lara's 30th birthday and as she makes her wish a Nigerian lady comes to the door and creates chaos - she is Lara's biological mother. The novel then takes three directions. The first involves Lara's story - her experiences growing up including when she first told she was an "alien". The second is of Lara's adoptive mother Patricia, who started off like any poor white girl in a neighbourhood where nobody really went anywhere. But Pat always knew she would be a somebody and that somebody turns out to be Trish Smith - an 80s pop star. Trish soon meets Barry and seeks to start a family which leads them to Lara, a little girl abandoned at a Nigerian orphanage. The third story thread is Yomi's - Lara (or Omalara's) birth mother. It has taken 30 years of birthday wishes for Lara but when she discovers the truth of her past - will it be the moment she had waited for her entire life or will it lead to more disappointment? Being Lara is for all those girls who make birthday wishes every year and yearn for them to come true. (PP)

By The Time You Read This (2008)

When Lois is only a little girl, her dad Kevin finds out he is dying and begins writing her a manual. His sister gives it to Lois when she is 12 - on the day her mother is getting remarried. The manual has advice about everything from handling high school, dating, job interviews, moving out of home and turning 30. As Lois grows up and throws herself into her work, she finds it difficult to sustain relationships with men, her mother and stepfather, even her new baby sister. And despite her feelings for the boy next door, it seems no one else measures up to her father, the only man she's ever loved. A coming-of-age story well worth your time.

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