Familia by Lauren E Rico @TheLaurenRico @KensingtonBooks @sophiarose1816 #KindleUnlimited #ThriftyThursday

Posted June 5, 2024 by Sophia in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 4 Comments

Familia by Lauren E Rico @TheLaurenRico  @KensingtonBooks @sophiarose1816 #KindleUnlimited #ThriftyThursdayFamilia by Lauren E Rico
Published by Kensington Books on December 26, 2023
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Giveaway
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

What if your most basic beliefs about your life were suddenly revealed to be a lie? In this compelling, emotional novel, two young women are brought together by a genealogy test and a haunting question that shakes their understanding of what family is and who they truly are . . .

As the fact checker for a popular magazine, Gabby DiMarco believes in absolute, verifiable Truths—until they throw the facts of her own life into question. The genealogy test she took as research for an article has yielded a baffling result: Gabby has a sister—one who’s been desperately trying to find her. Except, as Gabby’s beloved parents would confirm if they were still alive, that’s impossible.

Isabella Ruiz can still picture the face of her baby sister, who disappeared from the streets of San Juan twenty-five years ago. Isabella, an artist, has fought hard for the stable home and loving marriage she has today—yet the longing to find Marianna has never left. At last, she’s found a match, and Gabby has agreed to come to Puerto Rico.

But Gabby, as defensive and cautious as Isabella is impulsive, offers no happy reunion. She insists there’s been a mistake. And Isabella realizes that even if this woman is her sister, she may not want to be.

With nothing—or perhaps so much—in common, Gabby and Isabella set out to find the truth, though it means risking everything they’ve known for an uncertain future—and a past that harbors yet more surprises . . .

A researcher and her coworkers take a DNA test and a sister she never knew she had messages her from Puerto Rico.  Familia is part women’s fiction and part mystery and I was all intrigued for a mystery story set in Puerto Rico.

Lauren Rico introduces her book with an explanation of how it came to be.  I’m always interested in the origin of an author’s story so learning this is a loving tribute to her own Puerto Rican heritage was a good set up for the agonizing story of a family torn apart when a grief-stricken father gets drunk and discovers his baby daughter was taken.  The heart of Familia begins years later when an American woman who was certain in her own background and family has all that history torn apart like tissue paper when she learns she is likely the long lost child who was taken from her Puerto Rican family.

Gabby di Marco doesn’t take this news easily and struggles when she meets her birth sister, Isabella Ruiz, and is determined to get to the bottom of what happened those many years before.  Isabella is overjoyed to have found the sister she always believed was still alive, but must come to grips that this prickly stranger may not ever choose to think of them as long lost sisters.

The mystery is about finding out how Gabby came to be taken and it turned out to be sad and sordid with drugs and greed laced through it.  The bright spot was seeing Gabby go from being under-whelmed by Puerto Rico and her birth family to a relationship developing.  I wish there had been more about the Puerto Rican setting beyond the gritty La Perla area of Old San Juan where dark cravings are found, but still it was interesting to get some of the culture along with an emotional story.

Familia is not my usual fair, but I was glad to have given it a go and hope Lauren Rico writes more mild domestic thrillers like this one.


Giveaway print ARC on November 4, 2023  (currently $8.24 at Amazon and in KindleUnlimited as of writing this post)

Overall rating 4.12 with 1,949 ratings and 494 reviews


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Posted June 5, 2024 by Sophia in Book Review, Thrifty Thursday / 4 Comments

4 responses to “Familia by Lauren E Rico

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