Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?
Lisa Pell
Aberdeen Bay 2012

Where whodunnit takes on an entirely different meaning, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? is quite the ride.  Inspired by the author’s personal experience, it provides a fictionalized account of Lori McGuire Pomay, who while undergoing fertility testing at age 45, receives the shocking news that it is impossible that the man she has known all her life as Dad, is her biological father.  Thus, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? is conceived.

How many of us want to delve into our parents’ sexual liasons and dalliances, especially those cloaked in the pre-sexual revolution of the 1950s, when morals dictated that you couldn’t say “pregnant” on tv, father knew best, and Donna Reed wore pearls to vacuum?  Lori jumps into the quest feet first.

What follows is a whirlwind of confusion, unbridled obsession, and tenaciousness, as Lori leaves no stone unturned to identify her true paternity.  It takes guts and support.  Fortunately, she has both.  Unfortunately, her mother has passed away, taking the silent truth with her, so it is up to Lori to scour volumes of her mother’s cherished correspondence, and approach the sensitive topic with an expanding network of family, friends, and her mother’s former flames, to chase down leads and  interview a string of ageing potential baby daddies.

She discovers that Mom, pretty and intelligent, but obviously not careful, was a popular young lady.

Absent of a standard plot, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? is a journey, working through speculation, facts, emotions, memories, rivalry, and what accounts for love, all wrapped up in a bouncy, disjointed, sometimes confusing format.  Yet there’s an open familiarity that makes you feel like you’re having coffee with the author recounting her tale.  It feels personal and real.

We learn surprising facts about the accuracy of DNA testing, but the science is difficult to grasp, and contrary to what the book’s title implies, Facebook, although significant to the outcome, is given only scant mention.  I guess that’s the twist.

A uncommon book with unique subject matter, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? by Lisa Pell  is a case where fictionalized truth is stranger than, well, fiction.