Searching for Sarah by Phillip Vega

The sudden death of Tom Ruiz’s sister, Nina, leads him to the discovery that she was gay. Having been under the impression they were close, he is dumbfounded. Her last instructions are for Tom and her girlfriend, Sarah, to have a non-traditional funeral for the woman who led a non-traditional life. But Sarah is nowhere to be found.

Tom begins to read Nina’s journal in an attempt to get to know the sister he thought he already knew, and find the mysterious Sarah. The journal takes us back in time to when Nina first found she was attracted to women and the sexual adventures that followed.

The premise of the story was intriguing, which was well maintained throughout the book. I had not read an LGBTQ novel before and was eager to see where it went.

I was a little disappointed, however. The characters of Tom and Nina are well developed, but I found their ongoing melodrama a little tiresome. Tom goes on for too long about his grief at the death of his sister in the beginning, and again when he finds out she was gay, to a point where I started skipping over it. One doesn’t need to read pages and pages of the same thought to get the picture. The same with Nina’s first-time attraction to a girl and the ones that followed.

Nina’s relationship with Sarah was described mostly in terms of them jumping into bed together and left me feeling it was all about sex. There was nothing about the deep understanding that can exist between people of any gender, soul mates. I felt we never really got to know Sarah. She was described as the love of Nina’s life, but we never really went past her looks and her prowess in bed.

Good twist at the end. All in all an enjoyable read.

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