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ENOUGH represents different seasons of life. My girlhood when I felt I wasn't Enough. My early adulthood when I had Enough. And my womanhood when I realized I AM Enough - Lloiden In her girlhood, Lloiden discovers her mother kept a secret about her father. Lloiden is shaken by this discovery and life as she knew it fell to pieces, putting her on a path of self-discovery that would shape her sense of self and stretch far into adulthood. Lloiden struggles to find her place in a world that handed her blow by blow. She was a wounded girl, feeling lost and not good enough. She wrestles with questions both complex and profound: Who is my real father? Why is mom lying to me? Why is this happening to me? Who am I? A deep yearning to find the answers, Lloiden embarks on an unbelievable journey exploring the deeper mysteries of identity, belonging and worth. It is a heartfelt story about the power of resilience, of embracing oneself and finding the courage to follow one’s dream.
Garza plumbs the complexities of identity and intricacies of her Filipino heritage in this affecting, often tender debut memoir. She centers her musings on an almost-lifelong search to discover the identity of her biological father, a quest initiated after hearing from family, just before she turned 13, that her mother’s husband, Ed, was not her father. Garza recounts her immediate shock, feeling as “if a book was torn in two, then half was thrown away,” at the news, alongside the aftermath—her close relationship with Ed turned inside out, the seething anger at her mother’s secret, and the blow to her self-worth that kickstarted a lifetime of searching for answers.

Those answers prove more elusive than Garza initially suspects, in part due to her family’s cultural norms and her mother’s reluctance to broach the topic, and she opens up to readers about the emotional toll from years of pursuing dead ends and cryptic family secrets. She characterizes her childhood as one plagued by self-doubt, even before the paternal uncertainty, and shares an intimate view of the challenges her family experienced immigrating to the United States. Church is portrayed as a cornerstone for the family, despite Garza’s friends there referring to her as “FOB” (“fresh off the boat”), and she carries that focus into her adulthood, often relying on her spirituality to guide the search for her father.

Readers will feel compassion for Garza’s desperation when her years of searching, including multiple DNA tests and false leads, seem to be futile: “I felt trapped behind an invisible wall: separate, alone, and cut off” she writes. She offers a glimpse into her adult years in the background, chronicling her marriages and parenthood, and the conclusion, though unexpected, will inspire, as she reveals “small pieces of truth had been around me all along, waiting for the right time for me to understand the meaning.”

Takeaway: The emotional account of an immigrant’s search for her biological father.

Great for fans of: Katherine Linn Caire’s Accidental Sisters, Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us.

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Editing: B
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