Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Who's Your Daddy, Baby? by Lisa Pell

Title: Who's Your Daddy, Baby?
Author: Lisa Pell
Info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Release Date: July 24th, 2012
Publisher: Aberdeen Bay
Pages: 327
Format: Electronic Copy
Acquired: From Publisher; ARC; Netgalley
Age Group: Adult

Inspired by the author’s experience, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? is the story of Lori McGuire Pomay, a happily married career woman living in suburban Washington, D.C. Lori undergoes genetic testing for in vitro fertilization and her world is rocked when she is told the dad she always knew could not possibly have been her biological father. This mid-life shocker sends her into an alternately hilarious, heartwarming, and heartbreaking search for truth about her heritage – from Appalachian Cherokees to Purple Kings on a church stage, with high-rolling gamblers, car dealers, dentists, and all manner of confused amnesiacs in their seventies along for the ride.

With Lori’s mother having died in the 1990s, taking many of the answers to her questions with her, the situation was rife with miscalculations. Initially, the protagonist Lori McGuire Pomay’s only clues to a prospective unknown biological father’s identity are memories of her late mother discussing pre-marital dating in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, and faded old letters from several paternal contenders, written around the time of her conception in the apparently swinging spring of 1958. The hunt eventually involves possibly ten paternal prospects; their families and friends; the membership of two churches; the high-rolling gambler ex-husband of a famous Hollywood actress; two families of car dealers; several free-spirited road trips around Virginia, and numerous humorous telephone calls and e-mails.

It all boils down to timing and opportunity. Lori learns more than she ever wanted to know about the vagaries of female fertility, the fallibility of half-siblingship DNA testing, problems with blood type testing/mutations, the impact of several genetic mutations – and her late mother’s courtships. Readers learn more than they might have known about Appalachian heritage, northern European ethnicity, inbreeding, sex and Rock n’ Roll in the 1950s, the bonds of motherhood, and the nature of paternity. Throw in the onset of a puzzling hereditary vertigo condition set off by hormone injections, plus a trip to the hospital for chest pains, and "Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?" will leave your head spinning.  

The last thing someone wants to hear is that the father they grew up with is not their biological father, but this is the case for Lori. After this married woman finds out that her father cannot be hers, she goes on a wild search for her biological father, and along the way finding interesting characters.

When I was first asked to participate in the blog tour, I absolutely had to ask for this book. It went into a world of the sexual revolutions of the 1960's and the double standard that takes place on women.

This book was a look into the author's own experience when she discovered the truth. In many ways it can be read as a memoir, because the raw emotion expressed in this novel can shake up anyone.

The reason it received a four had been because I had a hard time relating to Lori. And not just because I discovered my father wasn't my father, but I just didn't get feel her in many ways. Sometimes I wanted to put down the book and not really bother and call this one a quitter, but I was driven by the desire to find out who the father was, which I think Pell did an amazing job keeping the reader's hooked for it.

What I found interesting had been the way Lisa went about trying to find her biological father, and most interesting had been the ending. But, the book does keep the reader interested in some areas, while others I just got the feeling of wanting to roll my eyes and move along.

Quirky, interesting, and original the story goes through the process of finding oneself and the people who come along the way to aid and support you. This story was not just about finding your biological father, but about finding your heritage and knowing where you come from.

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