Everybody's Son

Harper. Jun. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780062442246. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062442253. F
When nine-year-old Anton is abandoned for a week by his drug-addicted mother, he enters the foster system and is taken in by David Coleman, a judge from a prominent political family, and his wife, Delores, who are still coping with the untimely loss of their son. David's position and connections allow him to manipulate the situation to his advantage and, as he believes, Anton's. In college, Anton must confront the dissonance between his early life and his adoptive family when he becomes romantically involved with the volatile and outspoken Carine. Later, when Anton starts his own political career, he is no longer able to escape early injustices done on his behalf and begins his journey toward becoming whole. Umrigar (Bombay Time) takes on the tricky task of exploring race in America, choosing a narrowly focused story regarding one family rather than attempting a broader sweep. She exposes the unconscious bias of powerful white liberals such as David, who fails to consider or understand the bond between Anton and his birth mother.
VERDICT While the depiction of Anton's political rise during the last half of the book feels somewhat generic, his personal journey is a moving one that many fiction readers can appreciate. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/16.]
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