Aged 21, Anika Fajardo boarded a plane and flew to Colombia to discover a birthplace that was foreign to her and a father who was a stranger. There she learned that sometimes, no matter how many pieces you find, fitting together a family history isn’t easy.
In sometimes meandering but resonant prose, Colombian-born Minnesotan Fajardo weaves memory and scenarios of what could’ve been in this debut memoir centering on biculturalism and reconciliation ... Fajardo offers a sometimes distant, arms-length perspective on her native country, which poignantly captures her acknowledged disconnect to her origins. The narrative often leans too heavily on maudlin phrases and flowery language but is also filled with honest and authentic truths about the complex relationship between children and their neglectful parents and the struggle to find one’s place between two cultures.
This is a full, satisfying read ... The narrative, strong enough to support the myriad stories that branch off on every page, is deceptively simple in the first pages ... Fajardo’s lovely, detailed description of the time she saw a fairy could be a metaphor for this memoir, which unfolds chronologically, big and small stories and details expanding and coloring the story.
Fajardo strains to make connections between the events of her life and Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude ... this story, marked by disillusion, yearning, sadness, and one happy coincidence, does not draw upon or evoke magical realism; nor does Fajardo need García Márquez to justify or bolster her memoir. A forthright and sensitive tale of a daughter’s quest.