And She Was: Book summary and reviews of And She Was by Jessica Verdi

And She Was

by Jessica Verdi

And She Was by Jessica Verdi X
And She Was by Jessica Verdi
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2018
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Dara's lived a sheltered life with her single mom, Mellie. Now, at eighteen, she's dreaming of more. When Dara digs up her never-before-seen birth certificate, her world implodes. Why are two strangers listed as her parents?

Dara confronts her mother, and is stunned by what she learns: Mellie is transgender. The unfamiliar name listed under "father"? That's Mellie. She transitioned when Dara was a baby, after Dara's birth mother died. She changed her name, started over.

But Dara still has more questions than answers. Reeling, she sets off on an impromptu road trip with her best guy friend, Sam, in tow. She is determined to find the extended family she's never even met. What she does discover - and what her mother reveals, piece by piece, over emails - will challenge and change Dara more than she can imagine.

This is a gorgeous, timely, and essential novel about the importance of being our true selves. The back matter includes an author's note and resources for readers.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Verdi's book is a triumph - an exquisite mirror in which trans parents and their children will see themselves. And for once, the reflection won't break their hearts. Ages 14-Adult." - Kirkus

"Despite its uneven character and plot development, this novel offers a compelling reading experience, making it a valuable addition to library collections." - School Library Journal

"Mellie's e-mails are full of information, regret, and deep love for her daughter, and though it's a slightly clunky plot device, both women's flaws and growth ring true." - Booklist

"Verdi just gets better and better with every book. And She Was is a beautiful, multilayered journey of love, understanding, and empathy that made me want to be a better daughter, ally, and person." - Dahlia Adler, author of Under the Lights

"A heart-tugging, powerful story of family, identity, and the struggle for acceptance. A beautiful novel that treats every moment with incredible care, Jessica Verdi's latest is a different kind of love story - one about loving yourself, your family, and your life. And it features my favorite mother-daughter relationship since Gilmore Girls." - Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story

"An engrossing story about the collision of big, grand dreams and long-held life-saving family secrets. I could not stop turning pages and cheering for Dara." - Caela Carter, author of Tumbling

"And She Was took me right back to my adolescence, a time when I was struggling to come to terms with my trans parent's identity while figuring out my own." - Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Sharon Shattuck

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Author Information

Jessica Verdi

Jessica Verdi is the author of My Life After Now, The Summer I Wasn't Me, and What You Left Behind. She is a graduate of The New School's MFA in Writing for Children program and lives in New York. You can find her online at jessicaverdi.com.

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