In Roots & Branches, a collection of brief and deeply personal essays on family, Bay Area author Adina Sara recounts intimate moments in her life—helping her mother with her beauty baths; sitting with her father as he sips his tea; travelling with her Ex to meet their first grandchild; losing to her 4-year old granddaughter in a high stakes game of Hide-and-Seek.
“…Sara takes us through a full gamut of emotions, all the while allowing us to feel more deeply what it is to be a part of that strange consortium of souls we call family.”
“…She brings the world of relationships alive and one feels after reading her stories, reunited with the people who have mattered most.”
Excerpts from Roots & Branches
It is an old familiar place, being a mother to my mother. When I was half her height, she would call on me to help her with her beauty baths. I covered her with just the right amount of foamy bubbles, and sat by her side until the water finally settled milky clear. One day you will get this fat, she threatened, but I was smart enough to answer You aren’t fat Mommy.
I watch my father put his pen down. I watch him pick up the leather book mark, set it inside the pages, gently caressing it with his hands. I close my eyes and pretend that he is tucking me in, kissing my forehead, like I am a book he might want to read.
I remember his stare into the camera as the photographer snapped our wedding picture. There were thin traces of fear in his eyes. He looked too young to marry. He looked too young to shave. He was twenty-one and I was twenty and there was love, yes, a sweet, innocent playful kind of love, and a vague kind of familiarity, as though each of us looked like the person we were supposed to marry.
In Grandmaland, I stepped over mountains of toys and jackets and broken colored pencils and Lego pieces and spelling tests and dried gorilla glues and half a bagel, the cream cheese petrified, and a lacy pair of undies I wasn’t meant to see. I looked for quiet corners to catch my breath.
Adina Sara was born in Los Angeles, California and moved to the Bay Area to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where she received a B.A. in English Literature. Her musical interests led her to produce three albums of original songs that chronicled her years of loss, healing and discovery. She has performed her own music, and in folk, pop and classical ensembles. She published two essay and poetry collections, 100 Words Per Minute: Tales from Behind Law Office Doors and The Imperfect Garden, and a novel, Blind Shady Bend (Regent Press). For over 10 years she was the garden columnist for the MacArthur Metro, an Oakland community newspaper. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines including Persimmon Tree, East Bay Express, Oxygen, Peregrine Press, Adelaide Literary Journal, and Green Prints. She resides in Oakland, California with her husband, and makes frequent visits to her native Los Angeles to enjoy the company of her sons, daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren, who fill her with immense joy and gratitude. www.adinasara.com.
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Roots & Branches
122 Pages - Print Edition