The character, Charlotte and I are roughly the same age. I could identify with the person, the culture, the language and what living in South Africa was like as a teenager growing up during the time period the book is written in.
Many of us question who we are, what we are about, what are our details? .. and what am I going to be when I grow up? Charlotte is no different, except that Charlotte knows she is adopted and therefore has some extra questions that need answers.
I found Charlotte to be a strong character, honest about her weaknesses and flaws and open to forgiveness and truth. Charlotte’s adoptive parents showed a little less emotion than I expected to the subject matter. They seem emotionally unavailable and cold to her needs throughout the book and I questioned why they adopted two children at all.
There was never any doubt that Charlotte would go in search of her biological parents and find them. This girl has got what it takes to make dreams come true. There is an inborn focus and drive that allows you to cling to the character, cheering her on towards the conclusion.
Charlotte’s birth mom and dad appear much more willing and wanting of Charlotte and there is a very authentic feeling of a story coming full circle.
For what could be perceived to be a heavy psychological subject to read about, it is an easy, but emotional read. I recommend this book be available to young adults as a means of educating without preaching. It opened a wonderful, open dialogue between my 17 year old daughter and I.
Umbilicus by Paula Gruben is a self published book, which in South Africa, shows our character’s courage once more.
A copy of the book was made available to me, in exchange for an honest review.