Sunday, May 6, 2012

Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber

Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber entices the reader to think about the role of identity in the world.  It's a beautifully written novel that doesn't shy away from intense topics.  Abu-Jaber creates a main character, Lena, who is hard to know, confusing, and at times even hard to like, but who will entrance the reader.  At times her thought process frustrates the reader but always with a purpose.  Abu-Jaber weaves a tale around infant deaths, adoption, foster care, and mental illness that entertains the reader while pushing the reader to step outside the accepted sociological mindset.  The ending leaves a few unanswered questions leaving the reader to wonder if Abu-Jaber plans subsequent novels about Lena.  Origin is a well written, engaging tale that is both fantastical and all too real at times.

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