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Being Lara

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A poignant and provocative story of adoption, self-discovery, and the meaning of family, Being Lara by author Lola Jaye (By the Time You Read This) is an unforgettable tale of three women—British mother, Nigerian birth mother, and 30-year-old daughter—the choices they made, and the fragile bond they try to create across time and continents. Intelligent and touching, Being ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  226 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Read In Colour
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it
"Dating back to the 1950s, it was not uncommon for Nigerian families to send their children to live with white families in England in a situation best described as private fostering. Rather than go through agencies similar to those here in America, families would simply advertise their child in the local papers, in hopes that a family would be willing to raise them until they were ready to do so themselves. Unlike foster care in the U.S., the birth parents paid the families directly for the care ...more
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Being Lara is the story of Lara Reid, who was adopted from Nigeria at age 3 by a white couple. Growing up she always felt different. Her birth mother shows up unexpectedly to her thirtieth birthday party, which sends Lara into a tailspin. She's forced to confront the abandonment and identity issues she's been trying to repress all these years.

First, I'd like to get two big problems I had with this book out of the way. First - the cover. That is not a picture of a Nigerian girl. I don't even
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
• I did like how the author showed that the discrimination/racism was not only skin color but class status. I think it was interesting to see how this type of discrimination plays out in an English setting v US setting.
• I think this would be a very good book club discussion group because of the issues presented and the “what ifs” which others could say how they would have reacted to some of the situations presented.
• Enjoyed how the author presented Lara’s adopted experience and did not make
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
At the age of three, Lara is adopted from Nigeria by a British pop star and her husband. At her thirtieth birthday party, her biological mother arrives wanting to have a relationship with her. Lara struggles with abandonment issues, adopting a new cultural heritage and a mild case of OCD to become a complete person.
The book is loosely chronological, featuring many flashbacks to Lara's childhood and both her mothers' experiences around her birth and her adoption. I was glad the author gave us
Book-shelf Shelf
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fairly deep book about adoption and in particular, adoption of a black girl in a white family back in the 70's/80's. The whole book is absolutely amazing and really hits home how each person felt and the things that made them make the choices they made, along with the consequence's. Lola brings the reader through a life time of hurt and anger and shown the love and care, educating the reader as Lara learns of her decent.
All I can say is it a bloody brilliant book that has got deep inside me
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: firstreads-wins
Being Lara had the potential to be a good story but there was something lacking in the characters. Even though adequate back story was given, I just didn't feel a connection to them one way or the other. They seemed to all have the same voice which made it hard to distinguish at times and some of the writing was a bit melodramatic for my taste. It's a decent book and I don't doubt others will enjoy it more than I did.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Everyone is different in their own way. Sometimes it's our personality that makes us different. Sometimes it's how we live. What we eat. It can be so many things. Being different makes us who we are. Growing up, being different wasn't always a good thing for Lara Reid. Despite her parents always making her feel like she was special, Lara always knew something was different about her. Being Lara by Lola Jaye is an emotional journey into adoption and what makes a family.

Born Omolara in Nigeria,
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lara is a successful business woman who was adopted at the age of 3, when her parents, her mother a well-known pop star, visited Nigeria for a charity project, saw her at an orphanage, and fell in love with her.

The book goes back in time and we read the stories of Yomi, Lara's birth mother, and that of Pat, her adoptive mother. Why Lara ended up in an orphanage, we only find out towards the end of the book.

Lara has always had problems with abandonment and so far, at 30, has had several
Paula  Phillips
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Lara was adopted at the young age of 3 by a mother who was a former pop star and a father who wanted nothing more then a baby of his own. At the age of 30 when her biological mother tries to enter the picture it turns Lara's whole world upside down.

I really liked the premise of this story, any books that have to do with adoption always attract my attention, and this one was no exception. Unfortantely for me I had a hard time connecting with Lara and the story in general, and found myself bored
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
A story that kept me turning pages from beginning to end. A little girl suddenly realizes that she is different from everyone else, her parents don't look like her and neither does the rest of her family. Lara has a hard time finding out the reality of her situation and upon entering her 30th year she is finally finding out the real truth.

Jumping from past and present and between different characters, the reader gets the whole picture for this book - through the eyes of Lara, her adopted mother
Apr 10, 2012 rated it liked it
I really liked this book. I liked the story and the characters. For some reason, though, it was a really slow read for me. I'm not sure why. I was interested in where the story was going and I definitely wanted to know what happened in the end, but something about the characters didnt draw me in. I think that, in the way that the main character held herself back from everyone in the whole story, something was held back in the telling of the story that prevented me from really connecting to it. ...more
Bethany Bruns
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
The characters were unlikeable and dense. The adoption was handled badly. Most people adopting a child of another race today learn about embracing the child's heritage and are more open with each other. So it was frustrating to read about the botched situation and it wasn't written that well.
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Was a nice book with a good message.
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love the depth of the story told in this book. It's so wonderful to see Lara finally come to grips with her past and who she is. Definitely a tear jerker !
Deborah LaRoche
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Compelling read, but from what I know about international, trans-racial adoptions, not terribly realistic. I might have enjoyed it more if all of the "loose ends" hadn't been tied up so just isn't always like that. In fact, it's almost never like that.

Oh! And my biggest beef? The cover picture shows a kid who is most certainly not Nigerian-born. Or of any sort of African decent. Was it supposed to be Lara's white friend Sandi? What the hell. Whoever makes those types of decisions
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
ok, a little predictable.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
The story line is one that gave me high expectations. However I thought I might drown in page after page of minutiae.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
A quick read about adoption, self-discovery, and family. A novel of two mothers and their 30 year old daughter and the choices each have made. Was not very well written.
Anita NotherBook
I would give this book 2.5 stars, but due to the fact that that's not possible, I'm rounding up because this isn't my normal genre of choice so I guess this book just isn't my cup of tea and I kind of knew it from the start so I'm not sure why I read it. I found the story line intriguing-- a Nigerian girl is adopted by white British parents, and her birth mother comes back into her life on her 30th birthday-- and I really enjoyed the parts of the book that took place in Nigeria. But I just ...more
Carine Rose
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love how the author really brought Lara side of the story out. Its sad because sometimes people are so lost with identifying who they are especially if they are in the system. But also opens your eyes to let you know sometimes parents do give their child up for a reason. Love how she embraced the African culture in this book felt like I was experiencing it too. Especially with the accents.
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
“Being Lara by Lola Jaye opened with Lara’s thirtieth birthday party and she didn’t really want to go to it. She is a very successful business woman working with expensive jewelry; she is “going with” a very handsome and considerate man, her mother had been a pop star in the past and she has a very loving father.

Lara flashes back to memories of when she was five. She had been called an “alien” because she looked different from her classmates. Her birth mother was in Nigeria and her adoptive
McGuffy Morris
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lara is eight years old when she discovers that she is adopted. She has always felt out of place, however. She always struggled with issues of somehow being different, looking different, and is used to holding herself in check.

Upon her 30th birthday, she finally meets her birth mother, and feels an immediate connection. Though she fights this feeling, she feels herself drawn in by her biological mother. Lara is forced to reconcile her life as an adopted child.

As we see Lara come to terms with
Feb 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, fiction, bookophilia
The copy of this book that I read was an uncorrected proof sent by the publisher to the bookstore at where I work so the majority of the issues I had with the book may be corrected by the time it is released on the market. There were grammatical errors and some clumsy sentences but for the most part these didn't detract from the story being told.

The way the author shifts the perspectives of the characters was initially a little confusing but once you get into the rhythm of reading the book this
Jul 24, 2014 rated it liked it
This is an easy and entertaining read about a british couple who adopts a toddler from an orphanage in Nigeria. The main complaint I have with the book is the cover. The little girl on the cover is not a nigerian child. I think its a shame that they most likely did not put a dark nigerian girl on the cover in fear that it would hurt book sales. That's a real shame considering thr author is a fairly dark girl herself. The relationships between characters can be a bit awkward and the book leaves ...more
Scott Downing
Feb 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
“Being Laura” is an intriguing roller coaster of highs and lows that follow a little girl out of place in Great Britain, to a woman fully comfortable in both Kenya and the U.K.

Lola Jayne’s new novel was an interesting insight into the life of an adopted foreign national being raised in a culture vastly different from her own and the eventually rediscovery of her African roots.

The only slight downside to this enjoyable read was a sometimes confusing time-shifting narrative and perhaps a few
Linda Doyle
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
In the end, Lola Jaye does a good job of conveying the sense of abandonment that an adoptee feels, but the first half of the book is too disjointed and almost lost me. Chapters flip between Lara and her two moms, and between time periods. With a sizable cast of characters, I sometimes got lost. But I'm glad I stuck with it. It's a good story of mothers, daughters, and family, but it could have used better editing.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read even if all of the piece's of Lara's life got wrapped up in a neat bow at the end. The characters and thoughts/feelings birth family, adoptive family, and Lara herself were really well developed and provided good perspective. Even for someone who wasn't adopted or not involved with adoption, the book was written in a way that's relatable with various family drama and feelings of being unsettled and trying to find oneself. I like the author's style overall.
Nov 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The book is set in England with a young girl growing up "different" but she isn't sure why. As she learns her personal story (adopted from Nigeria) and meets people from a past that was unknown to her, the book evolves with a variety of interesting family members. It is an enjoyable story of personal growth and acceptance.
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book initially because the girl on the cover reminded me of a character from a TV show I enjoy, and because of the girl's name and the author's name.
This was a really good story of a woman's search for her own identity. It was told in segments from different time periods and viewpoints, and I really liked how it all came together.
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Lola Jaye

Lola Jaye is a Penguin/Random House author who has penned four novels and a self-help book.

She was born and raised in London, England and has lived in Nigeria and the United States. She has a Degree in Psychology and a Masters in Psychotherapy and Counseling.

Lola's novels have also been translated into several languages including Korean, German and Serbian. She contributed to the sequel
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