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The Second Time We Met by Leila Cobo

The Second Time We Met

by Leila Cobo

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Asher Stone is a college student with a star soccer career ahead of him, until a car accident puts his future into question. Though he had been adopted as an infant and raised in an wonderful, loving home in California, his near death experience leads him to wonder about his biological mother and her origins in Columbia. As Asher sets off to find her, his mother RIta's story is also told an alternating storyline, starting when she was a teen in a small village occupied by guerillas. How their story eventually comes together is not easy to predict and though fully resolved, is not as satisfying as one might hope. I enjoyed reading and discussing this novel with my book club as we speculated how we might have chosen our actions differently if placed in similar circumstances. I thought it was a quick and interesting read that explored adoption in a more realistic and culturally sensitive manner than other novels I have read. ( )
  voracious | Sep 6, 2013 |
This was a quick read - i was able to read it in one day (and I have 2 little kids!). I appreciated the juxtaposition between the idyllic life of a boy being raised in California and the dysfunction of both family and community in Columbia. The realities of living under such harsh oppression and not having such clear cut good and bad sides in politics was really brought home. I enjoyed the young mans search for his biologic mother as well as the interesting dissection of her decision making process, to give him up and to reunite as well. I recommend this book. For light reading, it is pretty heavy. ( )
  AmeKole | Aug 29, 2013 |
"As long as she was Rita Ortiz, she would be a maid, a single mother who'd had to give her child up for adoption, the lover of a dangerous man, a failed daughter, a sister who had left her brother behind." -pg. 282

"...even when you cross to the other side, someone or something can still bring you back, no matter how far you travel beyond that invisible line that divides what was from what is." -pg. 320

This is a very well-written book, in my opinion. The beginning had me hooked! I loved most of the characters and I couldn't wait to find out what happened when they finally met. This is a very emotional book.
My only problem with this book would be that it ended abruptly in my opinion. As I turned the last page I was sad because now I won't know what will happen next with Asher or the woman formerly known as Rita Ortiz :(

I would recommend this book to others. It is heart-wrenching ( )
  cindyXIII | Nov 7, 2012 |
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Division of The Hachette Book Group
ISBN-13: 9780446519380
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 kept me turning the pages. An impressive and poignant read.

My Rating: 4 ( )
  CMash | Apr 15, 2012 |
This book was very close to my heart, as I have two adopted children from Colombia. I enjoyed the tour of Colombia and felt she had the emotions correct especially regarding the adoptive parents. Asher seemed very much like my son with his looks and love for soccer. Unlike Asher, my son didn't get a second chance. He suffered with depression and took his own life at age 20. So this story was even harder for me to read.

What I hoped for didn't happen. I felt the ending, the meeting with Rita, was rather anticlimatic. Rita even thinks so in the novel. I would like to think and I will continue to think that my children's birth mother did love them. She gave them life and then gave them to me both major sacrifices that I will cherish and honor.

My daughter has spoken about searching for her biological mother and after reading The Second Time We Met I truly hope she never does. ( )
  Quiltinfun06 | Mar 19, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446519383, Paperback)

Adored and nurtured by his adoptive parents in California, Asher Stone has moved effortlessly through a nearly perfect life. He is on the verge of a professional soccer career-when a car accident throws his future into doubt. Suddenly, Asher begins to wonder about his past, and about the girl who gave him up for adoption in Colombia two decades ago. And so begins his search for a woman named Rita Ortiz.

From the teeming streets of Bogata to a tiny orphanage tucked into a hillside, Asher untangles the mystery of Rita's identity, her abrupt disappearance from her home, and the winding journey that followed. But as Asher comes closer to finding Rita, his own parents are faced with fears and doubts. And Rita must soon make her own momentous choice: stay hidden in her hard-earned new life, or meet the secret son who will bring painful memories-or the promise of a new beginning . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

After a life-changing event, Asher Stone, a Columbian adoptee who grew up in the perfect California family, begins to question his identity and travels to Columbia to search for his birth mother.

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