Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sheryl Sorrentino's Stage Daughter Wonderful Cultural Quandary! And More!

"I'd heard the toilet flush, the faucet turning on. Before I could replace the picture, the bathroom door opened and there he stood, gaping at me. His eyes flickered with either accusation or guilt--I could not tell which. I supposed he'd have every right to be angry at me for going through his wallet, but in that instant, this much became crystal clear. I had absolutely co claim to the man, no basis for being jealous even though I was carrying his child.
"Feeling hurt and confused, I went on the offensive. "Who is this?" I snarled.
"She is to be my wife," he answered simply. "Her name is Fadwa." He reached over and took the photo from me and returned it to its rightful place inside the wallet, which he then folded and slid into his back pocket.
"Your wife? You mean, you're engaged?" I was absolutely stunned. I'd expected him to be cagey; his matte-of-fact answer caught me completely off guard.
"Yes, I meant to tell you tonight."
"So, you were seeing someone else? While you and I--?" I stopped short, unsure how to describe the brief nothing that had transpired between us.
"I have not been seeing her. I haven't even met her yet," he explained.
"Excuse me?"
"My parents have selected her as my future wife. She will be arriving from Kuwait next month...

"Embarrassed, scorned, and rejected, I did the only thing a self-respecting woman in my situation could do. Without another word, I ran out and left him standing there looking like a thunderstruck Goliath crammed inside his tiny apartment...

Stage Daughter
By Sheryl Sorrentino

There are quite a number of provocative issues in Sorrentino's latest--motherhood, goals for children, religion, sexuality--just a few of those issues that keep us thinking and worrying, right?

I have to start with Sonya because she really knows how to get herself into deep trouble--and then slink away and hide...LOL My interpretation... She's got some background family issues--an African American female adopted by a Jewish family, who then have their own son...well, you can guess...

Frankly, I wasn't convinced that Sonya was just as much at fault as the rest of her family...but then, my opinion doesn't matter because it was Sonya who had to live her life, as we all do...

"But you did throw yourself at me, Sonya," he shot
back., "precisely because you wished to manipulate
my affections. Isn't that right? Once you understood
the full consequence of your actions, should you not
have allowed me the opportunity to offer affection to
my own child? Would that not have been the moral
thing to do?"
"Where do you get off lecturing me about morals?
You slept with me while you were engaged to another
woman!" A bemused expression came over his face,
which silently proclaimed his inculpability for doing
me (okay, letting me do him) while "Ms. Habib"
waited in the wings. And yet I was the one
humiliated--even now.
"Who do you think you're kidding?" I jeered.
"You're a total hypocrite! You used your bogus
Muslim prohibition against premarital contact so
I'd make the first move, but you were a willing
Sonya Schoenberg was a beautiful woman who had enough male attention to assume men "wanted her..." so when she was attracted to Aziz...well, let's just say that I probably could use the "R" word for the one time that Sonya and Aziz were together. Fact is that in my opinion he tried to say No...even if his body was screaming Yes...

Now the thing is that she got pregnant...and when she discovered that little trauma, she did go to Aziz. She not only found out he was engaged, but told her "flat out" that he would never have considered her for a serious relationship.

Woman, thy name is "Scorned..."

And she wasn't hesitant to negatively discuss her biological father with her daughter...

But Raz was not willing to take her mother's word for it...

And that was for several reasons...

Ahhh, Aziza....
"Was that my dad? she asked when she emerged from the
bathroom a few minutes later.
"Who else? Why'd you give him our number?"...
..."At first, he just wanted to let you know where we were.
But afterward, he said he would talk to you about spending
time with me."
"Razia, why in the world would you want to spend time
with that man?"
"Because he's my father. Duh..."
"Big deal. Any man can father a child. Let me explain
something to you, Miss Thang: Men are like dogs. They'll
have sex with any woman who offers or allows it. Some of
them even force themselves on women who don't do either.
A man doesn't even have to like a woman to sleep with her,
and he does absolutely nothing out of the ordinary to have
kids. Men are biologically programmed to bed down as many
women as they can, as often as they can..."

Let's just say that there might be a reason for Sonya, and any other woman, to "consider" Aziza. Even after more than a decade, he was still a handsome man who continued to teach an advanced Yoga class in his four Yoga locations. In fact, Raz and her friend saw him in the arms of a woman, kissing, when they visited him, unexpectedly, at work...

What turned out to be a surprise was that Aziza immediately wanted to become "father" to his daughter, no matter what had happened in the past. Of course, he didn't want to tell his wife yet... Do husbands really think they can get away with what they do? This one told his wife that Raz was the daughter of one of his clients and brought her into his home... Do you see trouble ahead? Sure, you do...but... what?! LOL

Now Razia was just a typical kid from a one-parent home. She knew who her father was and when she discovered that he was somewhere near, she wanted to go see and meet him. She had a young male friend and he offered to go with her. Having never had a father, I think I would have gone to see him too, hopefully, with my mother's blessing. But she was not getting along with her mother and was afraid she wouldn't let her... 

"Here." He handed me a bag. I opened it. Inside was a reversible scarf--black on one side with a white skull design;
white on the other with black skulls, so from far away, it just looked like a black-and-white pattern; you had to
look really close to see the skeleton heads.
"It is a stylist hijab. I noticed you like the skulls," he said, pointing to the cheap earrings I now wore--despite my
mother's constant nagging--in my second holes. "I was hoping you might wear it. To this."
He handed me a small envelope. I opened it. Inside were four concert tickets to see One Direction. I tried not to
groan. "It is Aleyah's eleventh birthday next week," he explained. "She has been begging me for months to take
her to see them. They are very popular with girls her age. I hope you will join us."
"Who all is going?"
"Just me. Aleyah and Abdul. And hopefully you, too."
Main difference of opinion: Razia is not interested in being on the Stage! She is an artist...but Sonya thinks she can be more successful as an actress...

Sonya is afraid--probably for all the wrong reasons and constantly fights any interaction for Raz with her father. Then she meets a young woman who is sharing a child with her ex and she starts helping Sonya think through things. At the same time she announces that she is interested in Sonya for possibly more than friendship...

Readers may think that these people are all messed up! But, underneath, each one of them wants love and happiness and it winds up to be lots of fun watching everybody's lives being turned over by one young girl... Important issues including religion, infidelity, sexuality, family relationships are all examined as eight or so people try to deal with what was once "normal" for all of them...

And then there are Sonya's parents and brother...let me just say, she's better off without them, in my opinion, of course...LOL

And Lydia? Who? She's out in the cold...

Be prepared to enjoy! But we also learn more about the Muslim family, adoption, and discovering one's sexuality...Lots to Consider; don't miss this one...


Sheryl Sorrentino is the literary pseudonym of Myra S. Mitzman, a successful business and real estate attorney who conceived and wrote her first novel, Later With Myself: The Misadventures of Millie Moskowitz, after her father died and his well-kept family secret shed new light on shocking events that had haunted her from childhood.
Immediately after launching this captivating and painfully "memoir-esque" autobiographical fiction work, Sheryl penned An Unexpected Exile, fast-paced women's fiction that exposes the psychological inner workings of Risa Weinberg, its 29-year-old protagonist whose capitalist guilt and sexual bewilderment all but derail her purported personal and professional aspirations (a uniquely female phenomenon with which Sheryl is all too familiar).
With her August 2012 launch of her third novel, The Floater, Sheryl offered readers a controversial-yet-sensitive story about a mature female protagonist (Norma Reyes) who takes on the private demons and occupational hazards threatening her prospects for happiness. Called "The Rocky of Legal Dramas" by New York Times best-selling author Ken Morris, The Floater proves that, while justice may be hard to come by, there's always equal opportunity to succeed in love.
Through her edgy, pull-no-punches writing style, Sheryl has forged a unique subgenre of women's fiction that she calls, "Real Fiction for Real Women™"-socially-significant, culturally-inclusive stories of women's real-life struggles presented in a compelling, intimate, and always entertaining voice. Sheryl's fourth novel, Stage Daughter (just out!), continues the trend with a thought-provoking story featuring a biracial/bisexual mom, a traditional Muslim dad, and their illegitimate pre-teen daughter-three highly diverse but inextricably connected characters grappling with single-motherhood, adolescent rebellion, blended families, and religious intolerance.
Sheryl Sorrentino lives in the California Bay Area with her husband and daughter.

A practicing attorney by day and prolific author by night, Sheryl Sorrentino writes Real Fiction for Real Women. To learn more, visit her website at www.sherylsorrentino.com, follow her on Twitter (https://twitter. com/ SherylSorrentin); and "friend" her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/sheryl.sorre...). And for a sampling of Sheryl's edgy and entertaining musings, check out her blog at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/...
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