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The Lauras: A Novel
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2017
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Available from OverDrive
Description
Shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year
From critically acclaimed and Baileys Prize-nominated author Sara Taylor comes a dazzling new novel about youth, identity, and family secrets

 
After a fight with Alex’s father, Ma pulls Alex out of bed and onto a pilgrimage of self-discovery through her own enthralling past. Guided by a memory map of places and people from Ma’s life before motherhood, the pair travels from Virginia to California, each new destination and character revealing secrets, stories, and unfinished business. As Alex’s coming-of-age narrative unfolds across the continent, we meet a cast of riveting and heartwarming characters including brilliant Annie, who seeks the help of Ma and Alex to escape the patriarchal cult in which she was raised, and the tragic young Marisol, whose dreams of becoming a mother end in heartbreak.
 
Slowly, Alex begins to realizes that the road trip is not a string of arbitrary stops, but a journey whose destination is perhaps Ma’s biggest secret of all. Told from the perspective of Alex, a teenager who equates gender identification with unwillingly choosing a side in a war, and written with a stunningly assured lyricism, The Lauras is a fearless study of identity, set against the gorgeously rendered landscape of North America. 
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/01/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780451496874
ASIN:
B01MXHDGE4
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sara Taylor. (2017). The Lauras: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sara Taylor. 2017. The Lauras: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sara Taylor, The Lauras: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sara Taylor. The Lauras: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:05:43
Date Updated:
Dec 07, 2020 21:45:08
Last Metadata Check:
May 26, 2024 07:59:01
Last Metadata Change:
Nov 10, 2023 14:23:46
Last Availability Check:
May 26, 2024 07:59:05
Last Availability Change:
Apr 13, 2022 09:33:05
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
May 29, 2024 02:14:03

OverDrive Product Record

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title
The Lauras
fullDescription
Shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year
From critically acclaimed and Baileys Prize-nominated author Sara Taylor comes a dazzling new novel about youth, identity, and family secrets

 
After a fight with Alex’s father, Ma pulls Alex out of bed and onto a pilgrimage of self-discovery through her own enthralling past. Guided by a memory map of places and people from Ma’s life before motherhood, the pair travels from Virginia to California, each new destination and character revealing secrets, stories, and unfinished business. As Alex’s coming-of-age narrative unfolds across the continent, we meet a cast of riveting and heartwarming characters including brilliant Annie, who seeks the help of Ma and Alex to escape the patriarchal cult in which she was raised, and the tragic young Marisol, whose dreams of becoming a mother end in heartbreak.
 
Slowly, Alex begins to realizes that the road trip is not a string of arbitrary stops, but a journey whose destination is perhaps Ma’s biggest secret of all. Told from the perspective of Alex, a teenager who equates gender identification with unwillingly choosing a side in a war, and written with a stunningly assured lyricism, The Lauras is a fearless study of identity, set against the gorgeously rendered landscape of North America. 
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        June 26, 2017
        A mother and her teenage daughter embark on a cross-country journey through the mother’s past in this second novel from the author of The Shore. After months of listening to her parents argue, the narrator, Alex, 13, is suddenly living on the road with her capricious mother, Ma, who ferries them from Florida to California in search of a place to make a life. Lending structure to the road trip are flashbacks to Ma’s episodes with “The Lauras,” the various girls and women who shaped Ma’s young identity in school, foster houses, and girls homes. Ma’s journey to self-understanding sets the stage for Alex’s self-discovery, as she—unbeknownst to Ma—trades sex for rides from strange men, writes letters to her abandoned father, and comes to know her mother’s darkest secrets. The trip finally leads them to cross the border into Canada, where one of the Lauras may or may not offer both Ma and Alex what they seek. Though there are some underexplored subplots, the mother-daughter relationship lends pathos and purpose to this voyage. Agent: Lucy Luck, Conville & Walsh.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2017
        This story, told by the younger half of a runaway mother-and-child duo, provides an enigmatic narrator with an opportunity to challenge readers' assumptions about family, gender, and home.Taylor's (The Shore, 2015) storyteller, the androgynous Alex, recounts (from a future vantage point) the sequence of unsettling events they encountered while roaming the country with "Ma," their mother. Ma and the barely pubescent Alex abruptly depart their stifling home, leaving Alex's elusive father behind, and spend the next few years living a hand-to-mouth existence on the road, following an itinerary Ma has charted on a mysteriously annotated map. As they crisscross the country, Ma settles scores, pays debts, and pays it forward while Alex deals with the effects of deracination and gender fluidity. Ma's quest, focused on reconnecting with a series of women friends--the "Lauras"--from her hardscrabble youth, provides both mother and child with myriad opportunities for self-revelation. Taylor's quiet, precise prose creates a sense of dreary place after place on the pair's odyssey and never conveys a clue about Alex's anatomy. Rather than serving as a parlor trick, Alex's androgyny works as a reminder about preconceived notions of identity and offers readers a narrative stripped of gender-specific conventions; Alex's ambiguous, aching forays into the realms of sexuality and human relations speak to universal truths about trust as well as lust. The realities of living life with a serial bolter reveal to Alex the myriad ways in which a home can be assembled and reassembled over time as Taylor propels the duo past external and internal mile markers. Some stops on the journey may seem superfluous or less important than others that are more finely drawn. Taylor, however, never allows her travelers to veer too far from the path they need to follow. Taylor gives her narrator a singular voice and dares the world to listen.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        July 1, 2017
        Alex, the narrator of this coming-of-age road-trip novel, is 13 and barely awake when Ma packs the two of them into the car, heading not-sure-where and leaving Alex's dad behind. Confusing everyone they encounter as they wonder whether Alex is a boy or a girl, Alex confidently feels like both without a need to explain. Alex likes the excitement of making tracks with Ma but hates not knowing her full plan and asks too many questions. Occasionally, Ma lets fly harrowing tales from her youth spent in, out of, or running away from foster homes. In various cities at different stages of her life, Ma knew Lauras, the first being the best childhood friend, who Ma thinks somehow led her to all the others. While the pair crisscross the country in search of Lauras and others, Alex survives upsetting assaults and experiences tender first love. Ultimately, understanding Ma's past and pathological restlessness deepens Alex's love for them both. Taylor (The Shore, 2015) packs vastly observed stories of mothers, children, and memory into her impressive second novel.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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Shortlisted for the 2017 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year
From critically acclaimed and Baileys Prize-nominated author Sara Taylor comes a dazzling new novel about youth, identity, and family secrets

 
After a fight with Alex’s father, Ma pulls Alex out of bed and onto a pilgrimage of self-discovery through her own enthralling past. Guided by a memory map of places and people from Ma’s life before motherhood, the pair travels from Virginia to California, each new destination and character revealing secrets, stories, and unfinished business. As Alex’s coming-of-age narrative unfolds across the continent, we meet a cast of riveting and heartwarming characters including brilliant Annie, who seeks the help of Ma and Alex to escape the patriarchal cult in which she was raised, and the tragic young Marisol, whose dreams of becoming a mother end in heartbreak.
 
Slowly, Alex begins to realizes that...
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