Tuesday, May 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
None of us knew mom before we were born. Debut novelist Gina Sorell was born in South Africa and has lived in both Toronto and Los Angeles. With the debut of her psychologically acute novel Mothers and Other Strangers she mines all of these locales in a work praised by critics and fellow novelists for its compelling portrayal of a daughter’s discovery of who her mother really was, before they met. Dip into this dark mother-daughter mystery with Gina Sorell as she unravels home-truths about a primal relationship in a spine-tingling launch, reading, talk and signing.
“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.”
And so begins Gina Sorell’s remarkable debut novel Mothers and Other Strangers, a riveting story of a woman’s quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cruel narcissist who left her only child an inheritance of debts and mysteries. As Elsie Robins travels from her home in Los Angeles to her former hometown of Toronto, she’s haunted by a painful past with a complicated woman and hopes that in death, her mother can help her to fill the missing pieces that made her feel unrooted her whole life. While coping with threats she suspects are coming from the secretive and controlling spiritual group her mother belonged to, Elsie sets out to understand who her mother was and in turn, she’s forced to face her own troubled identity. Her journey takes her first to Paris and eventually to the South African homestead she never knew existed, uncovering how it all began, and what it was that her mother was running from.
“A stunning debut…grips from page one, a perfect weave of suspense and of insight about how people love and hurt one another, and sometimes heal, and sometimes cannot.”-—Robin Black, author of Life Drawing
“This dark gorgeous jewel of a novel probes the secrets we keep and the complex ties of family, love and loss. Shattering and brilliant, this marks the debut of an astonishing talent.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Cruel Beautiful World and Pictures of You
“Mesmerizing and quietly revealing, Sorell’s memorable novel expertly weaves Elsie’s search for answers about her origins with her own journey of healing.”—Publishers Weekly
Gina Sorell is a writer who was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her husband and son. After two decades as a working actor in Los Angeles and Toronto, Gina returned to her first love, writing, and graduated with distinction from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. When she isn’t writing fiction, she’s the creative director of Eat My Words, a San Francisco–based branding firm. Mothers and Other Strangers is her first novel.