MIRA KENT IS nearing her 16th birthday and wants to know more about a father she doesn't remember. Her mother tells her she has all his good qualities, but isn't specific. With nothing but a photo of her father, Mira wants more. She writes him imaginary notes:
Daddy, darling, where are you? I need you in my life. Aren't you curious about me? About school? I have a boyfriend named Dylan. Mom says you both made the decision during the divorce that you wouldn't be part of my life. It was easier, she says. It hasn't been easier for me. Look for me, dearest Daddy, and I'll look for you. I'll look until I find you. [from publisher's web site]
I miss my father, a strange thing to say, because I've never known him, never laid eyes on him. My mother and grandmother conspire to keep information about him to themselves. "You have all of his good qualities," Mom says from behind the stack of AP English papers. She is defined by her English-teacher objects: the green desk lamp, her antique reading glasses, the black fountain pen. I don't remember a school night when she wasn't writing in margins with that Waterman pen she received from my grandmother the night I was born. "You have his red hair, his ability to put words together, to draw, to appreciate beauty and silence." The pen is poised at her lips when she turns her head toward the window and the sound of a barking dog. "His seriousness." She turns back and looks at me directly. "Those compelling green eyes."