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Stage Daughter

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  21 reviews
“Cultures clash in this engaging, heartfelt novel about a single mother forced to face unresolved feelings from the past when her 12-year-old daughter insists on connecting with the father she’s never known.” Stephanie Lehmann, author of Astor Place Vintage

Every unmarried woman fears unwanted pregnancy (just as every married man dreads discovering he fathered an unknown ch
Paperback, 349 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published July 8th 2013)
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sonya Schoenberg is the adopted, half-black daughter of a rich Jewish couple who soon after taking the girl of unknown parentage in, had their own child, a boy. Beautiful but entitled and resentful, prone to milking her parents for money rather than take a loving interest in them as people, Sonya dreamed of making it big on the stage or screen but never managed it - instead she had a one-night stand with a Kuwaiti man called Aziz and ended up with a fatherless daughter of her own, Razia. Sonya l ...more
This is truly a "real-world" story with perspectives from 3 different people—our main character, Razia (the rebellious, confused 12 yr. old), Sonya (the single mother), and Aziz (the unknowingly long-lost father)—from 3 completely different worlds! It not only shows the viewpoints of a hard working mother who tries too hard to put her only child on the "right path", but also the Islamic father who had his faith pushed to the limit and is trying very hard to repent, if you will, to make the wrong ...more
Sheryl Sorrentino
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I love it, naturally. It is my book! But check out Literary Marie's review at Literary Marie's Precision Reviews: ...more
Jac (For Love and Books)
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really loved Stage Daughter!! Being that Razzi’s mom was trying to live vicariously through her? That’s one of my favorite dilemmas in YA – because it’s all too real. Razzi is enrolled in a performing arts school, but would much rather focus her time on Drawing. Then you throw in 9/11 and the fact that Razzi is the daughter of a Muslim Man who has recently popped into her life and is making strides to convert Razzi to Islam.

This book is full of emotion! I laughed, I teared up, and I was cheeri
Yalda Vahdani
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Stage Daughter" is a compelling novel that digs deep into a diverse cast of characters and explores relationships that break down cultural and religious boundaries and stereotypes. Refreshing and beautifully written with a wit that could only belong to Sheryl Sorrentino, this book is a must read. I couldn't put it down! ...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars: Enjoyable ---not without flaws ---but 'strengths' shine through.

Early at the start of this novel we learn Sonya is 40 years old --a single mother of 12 year old Rezia.

Rezia was born on 911 --- (making the year 2013 during the telling of this story) --
The story takes place in the Bay Area: Mostly Berkeley, Oakland, and Albany, Calif.

I personally was struggling with the 'labels' and the 'slant' of the speaking from the main characters. If this book took place in Houston, Texas, I may h
Cinda MacKinnon
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Stage Daughter deals with complex and thorny topics in the vehicle of a family drama. Sonya is a hard-working, single mother without strong family ties. The adopted, bi-racial daughter of a Jewish couple, she was apparently treated as a second class member of the family after a biological brother was born. (Although appalling, I have seen this happen first hand, so it rang true to me.) Her contact with her family is limited to occasions when she needs money. Sonya has issues and thus is hard to ...more
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sonya is a single mother that always dreamed of being an actress but never quite made it. Struggling to support her daughter, Sonya pushes her daughter Razia to become the successful actress that Sonya would never become. Sonya is trying to find her place in a world where she never seems to fit in while focusing all of her attention on troublesome Razia. How can one woman hold her own while combatting so many outside forces?

Razia is curious about her father and disappears for the afternoon on a
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sonya Schoenberg dreamed of becoming an actress until a one-time tryst with a Muslim man led to an unplanned pregnancy. Sonya was forced to put her dream on hold to raise biracial daughter, Razzi. Pre-teen Razzi is enrolled in a performing arts school and going through a rebellious stage. It starts off with Razzi piercing her own ears, failing math, then leads to her finding her father Aziz without Sonya's consent. Never mind that he is a father of two in an arranged marriage and had no idea Raz ...more
Sep 20, 2013 rated it liked it
The author of this book sent me a copy for review. I was hesitant, because I could see it was a small press or self-published book, but the plot seemed interesting, so I agreed. I'm glad I did, because I enjoyed this book. The story, writing and editing were better quality than I anticipated.

Razia is a girl on the edge of adolescence, the bi-racial daughter of a single mother, Sonya. Razia is attending an arts school because her mom wants to see her dreams of b
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have become a huge fan of Sheryl Sorrentino's work. She clearly has a gift for writing compelling stories that touch on difficult and emotional issues while delivering an engaging and entertaining story. Stage Daughter is her fourth book and I absolutely loved it. Beautiful character development and thought provoking. Sheryl takes a risk by delving into real life issues involving family and faith in our delicate post 9-11 time. When I started the book I thought that I'd be more drawn to the re ...more
Kate Bracy
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Stage Daughter is an ambitious novel with a lot on its mind. Sonya Schoenberg is a single mom who has a lot of past to cope with. Her 12-year-old daughter Razia cuts her no slack, and forces both to face the fallout of biracial heritage, parents they’ve never known, and a world that seems to be stacked against them.

I admire the candor with which the author brings forward emotionally charged stories that help us consider our views on Islam, sexual choices, mother/daughter relationships and how to
M.C. Walker
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
When asked to review Stage Daughter by the author, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. Being familiar with the artist previous work The Floater left a good feeling in my gut that Stage Daughter would be nothing more than exceptional. Sorrentino has the power and ability to paint a vivid image of such relate able yet flawed characters that make them so authentic and original in every way imaginable. Once an aspiring actress Sonya wants the best for her daughter Razia but her way of deliverin ...more
Alretha Thomas
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you’re a mother, a daughter, a father or just looking for a fabulous read, you must check out “Stage Daughter.” Sheryl Sorrentino, known for taking literary risks, is at it again with her fourth novel. Her engaging writing style, coupled with her gift for storytelling, will have you quickly turning the pages as the story about Sonya Schoenberg, a biracial/bisexual single mom, unfolds. Sonya’s life becomes unraveled when her rebellious twelve-year-old daughter (Razia) decides she wants to meet ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed reading Stage Daughter--in fact, I couldn't put it down! I loved the characters, their dilemmas, and their gradual growth and transformation throughout the book. Razia, her mom, and the dad she finds all have issues to work out, and their journeys are lively, funny, and moving. Sheryl's writing style is so fresh, current, and purely enjoyable that I became absorbed right from the first page all the way to the end. I really like it that this is the story of not just the teenager, ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have read all of Sheryl Sorrentino's books and this might be my favorite, or at least a tie with her first book "Later With Myself". The story line and characters really drew me in, I was intrigued by the cross cultural aspect and the tween girl/single mom dynamic. The Middle Eastern/Muslim character, Aziz is a well known yoga instructor and has a lot of depth, I loved discovering how he was going to react to learning that he had fathered a child 12 years ago with a former girlfriend. The mom ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
When I first saw this book, I was intrigued, so when I was asked to review it, I eagerly agreed.

Stage Daughter had me hooked from page one. A captivating tale of rebellious 12 year old Razia who is torn between two parents. Sonya, the mother , want to be actress, that gave up everything to raise her. And Aziz the Muslim father she never knew. This is my first book by Sheryl Sorrentino, I can't wait to read my next.
Truly an outstanding read, and I highly recommend it.
Sienna Logan (Lost to Books)
For more of my reviews visit

I was intrigued into accepting this book because I was curious about how the author was going to deal with so many factors. It had the promise of rebellion, a teen trying to find herself, family values and religious conflict by which the two parents do not agree. I was interested to see how she entwined all the themes.

What I liked about Stage daughter was that it moved at a fast-pace. The chapters were kept relatively short but were f
Compulsion Reads
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Being a single mom is not an easy task, and it only gets harder when your daughter hits her preteens and decides she needs to meet her biological father. For Sonya Schoenberg, this is her life.

Thirteen years ago, Sonya seduced Aziz, a mysterious Muslim man. Unable to tell Aziz that she is pregnant with his baby, because his future had already been planned out for him, she decided she would be the best single mom she can be. For her, that meant pushing her dreams of being an actress aside, givin
Madam Pince
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Sonya Schoenberg, once an aspiring actress with big dreams, has now resigned herself to single motherhood. For the past twelve years, she has been a dedicated parent, doing her best to support her daughter’s creative side by enrolling her in San Francisco’s prestigious Oakland Regional Conservatory for the Arts. The problem? Sonya thinks Razia should be a drama student; Razia would rather be an artist. But what are offspring for, if not to fulfill their parents’ failed dreams? The other problem? ...more
Linda C.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was thoroughly charmed by this book on many levels! I couldn't put it down. It's a compelling, quick and fun read, but holds many messages. Told in alternating voices by the principal characters, Sonia, Razia and Aziz, the story unfolds on several levels. It's at once a fast-paced, funny and sometimes acerbic account of a single, stressed mother who truly loves her daughter, but is unable to see beyond herself to discover who her daughter is; a self-righteous and religiously intolerant father ...more
Kenyatta Kelechi
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Jun 08, 2013
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Sheryl Sorrentino is the author of six very different novels: Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz (which recounts a neglected twelve-year-old’s devastating pregnancy); An Unexpected Exile (a romantic ride with Risa Weinberg, a 29-year old Jewish fashion merchandiser who is relentlessly pursued by a charismatic and slightly "off-kilter" Sandinista rebel); The Floater ...more

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