The QuestIn Who's Your Daddy, Baby?, Lori Pomay finds herself empassioned by a mission - to find her biological father nearly a half century after her mother's pregnancy. Lori and her husband are trying to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization and as the medical testing begins for that process, she learns that there is no practical way her Dad was actually her biological father. In some ways, she is crushed to learn the truth, but it ends up being a surprise to all concerned, even her dad.
So armed with very little information other than stories and some letters left behind by her late mother, Lori begins a quest to find her biological dad. She finds herself interviewing her mother's friends and family members, only to discover that there might have been ten to twelve young men who were possible candidates. By following leads, reading old letters and high school yearbooks, talking to relatives of these men and by getting some to consent to DNA testing, she gradually rules out potential paternity candidates. And along the way, she learns a lot about her family, her mother and the times and places of her youth.
Lisa Pell has an incredible gift as a writer in developing characters. You could almost see and hear the colorful folks from Lori's past in the Appalachian mountains as they share their stories and insights with her. The gradually appearing complex character that was Lori's mother was particularly impressive. She developed from a mother who was close to her daughters into a sympathetic character mixed up in the social scenes of the 1950's. Having the strength to carry a secret to her death that might have hurt many, including her immediate and extended family and her boyfriend's reputation, showed an element of character that was well developed through the story.
For Searching Children
Lisa Pell suggests that searching children who read the book should carefully consider the risks and rewards associated with a search and remember that such a process can create personal, emotional challenges for many involved. Sometimes there are unpleasant revelations that shake the foundations of families and personal reputations. She also reminds the searchers that people with whom they speak may be wary of being scammed, and that they should be prepared for resistence. There are even some poignant episodes in the book where the wariness proved to be a roadblock.
The Bottom Line
I recommend Who's Your Daddy, Baby? for anyone who likes a light mystery and who feels the tug from prior generations to learn more about them and their lives and stories.