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The Lauras by Sara Taylor

The Lauras

by Sara Taylor

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6931173,491 (3.55)30



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I both liked and disliked this book at the same time and that is hard for a book to do. The story itself of a woman leaving her husband of 15 years on a road trip of redemption with her child seems plausible. Then add religious cults, an androgynous narrator, and 2 dimensional experiences. This book suffers from trying to cram so much in that depth is never reached. A good weekend summer book, but nothing you'd reread. ( )
  SadieRuin | Jun 25, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this as part of the Early Reviewer program. I felt like I couldn't really get to know the characters, but that the author was doing this on purpose. It's one of those "you can't really know someone" type of messages. I guess most people picked up that Alex doesn't identify with a gender right away, but in my mind I was imagining Alex to be a girl. It wasn't until page 199 that I realized this was a main point of the book.

I thought the strongest part of the novel was when Alex's mother was explaining how people can have such an impact during childhood, in her case it was all the Lauras she met growing up. As someone who spent years bounced around the foster system she didn't have any stable relationships, but would often meet a girl named Laura. She allowed each one to try to fill the hole that she had from her first friend named Laura until her childhood became defined by her relationships with Lauras. ( )
  strandbooks | Jun 21, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Lauras is energetic and infectious. Taylor has written a moving and original story, a coming-of-age that is defined by the narrator's relationship with their mother. Alex is a good character but at times felt a little two-dimensional, that being agender was their only character trait. (The explanations of being agender, while I'm sure are necessary for many readers, felt a bit forced as if they were added in edits--they didn't quite flow with the rest of the writing.) The dialogue was a bit stilted at times but as this was an advance copy it's possible that it's been edited!

I really loved the flashbacks into the mother's story--and the very well-done subtle indicators that Alex is understandably not always a reliable narrator. The Lauras is a great little novel. ( )
  SiriJR | Jun 20, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The Lauras by Sara Taylor is about home and homelessness. The story takes place over two years when a mother and daughter drive up and down and across the USA (and eventually to Canada), visiting the mother's past. The past comes in the shape of stories of immigration, orphanage, running away, foster care, friendships and animosities, and eventually link to the present in the shape of long lost promises waiting to be fulfilled, obligations, favors, and the search for two people in particular.

The Lauras is also a coming of age story. The gender-ambivalent Alex discovers the sexual urges and fantasies of teenage-hood, learns to break free and disobey in more significant ways, makes mistakes and pays for them, and eventually comes to understand "Ma" better than before. Through their search for the past, through their restless homelessness, Alex forges an understanding of what home means for each person, and how radically different each person's definition can be.

Recommended for those who like greasy diner food, gender-bending teenagers, swimming, and long showers.

Thanks to LibraryThing and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange of my honest review. I enjoyed The Lauras! ( )
  bluepigeon | Jun 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a road trip/coming of age novel about a mother and her child, who identifies as genderless. The mother absconds with the child, Alex, to revisit sites from her childhood and youth. The two traverse the country for 2 1/2 years.

I found the story disjointed and somewhat pointless. Neither character came fully alive for me, and the point of the road trip seemed somehow underwhelming and overwrought at the same time.

I loved Sara Taylor's The Shore, but this book did not work for me at all.
  kgallagher625 | Jun 12, 2017 |
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