Home Bound: An Uprooted Daughter’s Reflections on Belonging

Astra House. Oct. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781662601330. $28. MEMOIR
Born in Cameroon, lawyer/essayist Bee (whose writing has been published in Politico and n+1) shares the story of her search for identity, home, and belonging. Adopted by her aunt and her aunt’s white French husband, Bee is raised in France until her adoptive parents’ divorce, which sends her and her mother to London and eventually to Reno, NV. She and her mother experienced housing insecurities throughout her childhood and young adult life, but this did not stop her from graduating from college in three years and attending Harvard Law School, which catapulted her to a career as a lawyer with an economic/financial justice–oriented practice in Washington, DC (including as counsel at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau). This memoir examines the multiple and expanding ways the author defines home—it’s organized around dictionary-style definitions—throughout her life, interrogating name, place, space, and ideologies. Bee’s lyrical, emotive prose takes readers through her life with an intimacy that draws and keeps them close.
VERDICT Bee’s memoir is experimental in form but will appeal to a variety of reader, challenging singular beliefs of what it means to be a daughter, sister, lover, wife, lawyer, and mother.
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