The Center of the World

Jacqueline Sheehan. Kensington, $15 (321p) ISBN 978-1-61773-896-8
The latest from Sheehan (Lost and Found) is an emotionally charged tale that explores the mother-daughter bond, set against the backdrop of the Guatemalan Civil War and complete with beautiful prose despite the atrocities. It's 2003 and Sofia Malloy, grieving the loss of her stepfather, Martin, is unprepared for information contained in a posthumous letter she receives from him. She learns that everything she believed about her adoption is a lie and decides to confront her mother, Kate, who is forced to come clean. The story then jumps back to 1990, as Kate details her time as a grad student in Guatemala and how Sofia came into her life. Kate felt she was doing the right thing when she protected Sofia during the unrest in Santa Teresa. Feeling she has lost everything, Sofia is determined to discover the truth about her past, which will take her, along with her mother and grandfather, on a journey from Massachusetts to Guatemala. Will Kate lose the daughter she fought so hard to save? Sheehan's background in psychology is evident in the pinpoint family dynamics. Sophia's confusion and pain are palpable. Kate's regret, as well as her desire to make things right, is immediate and heartrending. Sheehan places the reader in the middle of war-torn Guatemala and expertly carries her narrative through war and peace, fear and security, and love and redemption. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 12/29/2015
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-68324-071-6
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