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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
The Letters: How a Mixed Race Child Learned About His French Mother and Heritage by Daniel Freeman, EdD is the story of the author as he finds out why he always felt like the odd man out in his family. His father was an African-American man who fought for his country and when he died, a box of secrets was opened. When he passed away, Daniel went to his childhood home where he found two trunkfuls of secrets that his father had kept from his family. He found pictures and letters in French and as each letter was translated, he learned so many secrets that his father kept from Daniel. He found out who his real mother was, where she came from, and how he had a whole family he never knew about. What will Daniel do with this information? Will he reach out to the woman that gave birth to him?
I cannot even imagine what Daniel went through. I don’t know how he got the heart to move from one picture to another and read one letter after the other. He experienced something heart-shattering and he had to deal with the information just after he lost his father who he loved a lot. He pushed through it all, he welcomed the information and used that to ground himself. Daniel’s journey reads like a letter to a dear friend and that friend is you. The narrative reads like a dialogue between the author and, as the reader, you will experience his emotions and his journey first hand. The pictures he shared offered a fascinating look at an era long gone, but still exists in the images. He also shares the actual letter translations, which drew a much clearer picture of what his father was going through in that phase of his life. I really enjoyed this book. It was fun, surprisingly quick to read, and enjoyable to boot! The narrative is smooth and the author has done a great job of sharing his story while respecting his father, his birth mother, and the woman he grew up calling his mother.