Friday, April 22, 2011
If You Lived Here by Dana Sachs
Shelley Marino runs a small family business with her husband, Martin, who has two sons
from a previous marriage. Shelley and Martin have tried to conceive a child for years and have begun, albeit reluctantly, to consider adoption. When an adoption agency locates a two-year-old Vietnamese boy, Shelley is elated -- but Martin, a Vietnam veteran, is less enthusiastic. Desperate to have a child of her own, Shelley befriends Mai, the owner of a local Asian grocery, who eventually agrees to accompany Shelley to Vietnam and help her claim the little boy.
As Shelley reaches for the love she believes will make her whole, we learn that Mai is suffering, too. For years, she has held onto a secret, painful memory that caused her to flee her country at a young age. The trip to Vietnam represents an opportunity not only for Shelley but for Mai as well, if she will take it. Together, they search the past so they can move forward, into the future, with confidence.
This book broaches interesting topics which I'm sure affect a lot of families in America. When one spouse has a family from a previous marriage and the other does not, the topic of adoption often comes into play. Unfortunately the spouse with the family isn't always willing and open to the idea of adoption. The book discusses the emotional roller coaster a marriage goes through in determining what is right for each partner. I feel for Shelley in the decisions she has to make, but there is a secondary story that is also important. Mai went through a very difficult time in her life and the memories she recovers and faces are tremendous. She takes a leap forward and Shelley and Mai both discover what is right for them and how they will move into the future. Great book, although slow at times.