cover image Belonging: A Daughter’s Search for Identity Through Loss and Love

Belonging: A Daughter’s Search for Identity Through Loss and Love

Michelle Miller. Harper, $32 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-322043-0

CBS Saturday Morning host Miller chronicles the search for her estranged birth mother in her outstanding debut. When Miller was 24, her dying father—a Black trauma surgeon—urged her to find her white Chicana mom. As a child, Miller was raised by her grandmother and a handful of other women, and she longed for a connection to her biological mother: “Why is the light pigment of my skin or the too-loose texture of my hair, physical attributes not of my choosing, bestowed upon me at birth by a woman whose face I couldn’t even conjure?” Later, she sought out half-siblings and other formerly unknown relatives to help piece together a picture of her own identity, ultimately finding her mother and uncovering the reason for her mother’s departure. Miller poignantly weaves her story with key historical moments, including the Rodney King beating—she lived a few blocks away in Compton at the time—and the fact that her father was the first doctor to treat Bobby Kennedy after he was shot. Readers will be transfixed by Miller’s thought-provoking queries about race and family, and inspired by her candor. The result is an elegantly structured soul-soother. Agent: Will Lippincott, Aevitas Creative Management. (Mar.)