Asking big questions, this moving novel follows sisters separated at birth who reunite to untangle their complex past.
Good to know
What if your most basic beliefs about your life were suddenly revealed to be a lie?
As the fact checker for a popular magazine, Gabby DiMarco believes in absolute, verifiable Truths—until they throw the facts of her own life into question. The genealogy test she took as research for an article has yielded a baffling result: Gabby has a sister—one who’s been desperately trying to find her. Except, as Gabby’s beloved parents would confirm if they were still alive, that’s impossible.
Isabella Ruiz can still picture the face of her baby sister, who disappeared from the streets of San Juan twenty-five years ago. Isabella, an artist, has fought hard for the stable home and loving marriage she has today—yet the longing to find Marianna has never left. At last, she’s found a match, and Gabby has agreed to come to Puerto Rico.
But Gabby, as defensive and cautious as Isabella is impulsive, offers no happy reunion. She insists there’s been a mistake. And Isabella realizes that even if this woman is her sister, she may not want to be.
With nothing—or perhaps so much—in common, Gabby and Isabella set out to find the truth, though it means risking everything they’ve known for an uncertain future—and a past that harbors yet more surprises . . .
Why I love it
Author, Yours Truly
Lauren E. Rico steps into her own as an author in Familia and I am 100% here for it. Her powerful narrative traces the heartbreaking journey of a family ripped apart by fate and tragedy. It weaves a beautiful tale that spans time, place, and culture to show the resilient and redemptive power of family bonds.
While still grieving the untimely death of their wife and mother, a young Puerto Rican family is dealt a second tragic blow when their youngest child, Marianna, is kidnapped. This sends the girls’ father into a torpor. But Isabella, the older of the two children, never gives up hope that she can find her baby sister one day.
Fast forward a decade: Gabby is a journalist at a popular magazine and has taken a genealogy test as research for a story. And lo and behold, she finds herself a 50% DNA match with Isabella Ruiz. Neither of them are prepared for the twisting, sleuthing crime-solving mystery that this sets in motion, and they must grapple with the gritty reality of having the family they always dreamed of, but may not actually want.
Rico masterfully tackles many difficult topics—alcohol abuse, kidnapping, grief, violence, and questions of personal identity. But her vivid characters, flowing prose, and touching story make Familia a book worth moving to the top of your TBR pile.