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Taliah Sahar Abdallat lives and breathes music. Songs have always helped Tal ease the pain of never having known her father. Her mother, born in Jordan and very secretive about her past, won't say a word about who her dad really was. But when Tal finds a shoebox full of old letters from Julian Oliver - yes, the indie rock star Julian Oliver - she begins to piece the story together.
She writes to Julian, but after three years of radio silence, she's given up hope. Then, one day, completely out of the blue, Julian shows up at her doorstep, and Tal doesn't know whether to be furious or to throw herself into his arms. Before she can decide, he asks her to go on a trip with him to meet her long-estranged family and to say good-bye to his father, her grandfather, who is dying.
Getting to know your father after 16 years of estrangement doesn't happen in one car ride. But as Tal spends more time with Julian and his family, she begins to untangle her parents' secret past and discovers a part of herself she never recognized before.
By the acclaimed author of My Heart and Other Black Holes, this is an intergenerational story of family and legacy and the way love informs both of those things. It's about secrets and the debt of silence. It's about the power of songs. And most of all, it's about learning how to say hello. And good-bye.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 01-04-18
Nothing really happened
I enjoyed the narrator and the basic idea of this story but there was no real substance to it. Which was disappointing because I adored Warga's first novel. This one needed about 100 more pages and a bit more meat in the middle to make it really work.