DISCOVERING MOM is set in Oklahoma during the 1970s and focuses on thirteen-year-old Daniel Bennett. Adopted at birth and part Comanche, Daniel struggles with identity issues and feels like a complete outsider both at home and at school. But then he meets and befriends Jasmine Thornhill (the other biracial student in his seventh-grade algebra class) and together they find the courage to shake up the status quo, beating up bullies and starting their own gang of loners and misfits. Jasmine also encourages Daniel to find his birth parents, and with the help of her detective uncle, they manage to locate Daniel’s birth mother, Karen, living hundreds of miles away in the San Francisco Bay Area. She agrees to reconnect with Daniel over the phone. Yet the more they talk and get to know each other, the more he longs to be with her, prompting him and Jasmine to do the unthinkable as they say goodbye to their cozy existence and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.
The book focuses on Daniel’s adoptive parents as well, especially his mother, Mary, who’s also having identity issues and feels so disillusioned with her life that she sets off on a journey of her own—an inward journey of self-discovery. Not to give too much away, but her ultimate transformation from doting housewife to a liberated woman of the seventies is astounding. The story is chock-full of such fascinating characters that are sure to make you laugh or cry.