Brass: A Novel - Xhenet Aliu

Elsie is a young waitress at the Betsy Ross Diner. She hopes her nickel and dime tips will take her away from her small town of Waterbury, Connecticut. Instead, she becomes pregnant to Bashkim - a married man from Albania who works at the Diner as a line cook. Elsie doesn't quite know what's going to happen once the baby comes. Will Bashkim stay or will he go back to his wife? Fast forward seventeen years and we have headstrong, independent Luljeta who has just received a rejection letter from NYU and her first ever suspension from school both on the same day. She desperately wanted a new life in New York but she's stuck in Connecticut with her mother. Now she's determined to uncover the truth about the father she never knew. 

The chapters alternate between Elsie when she was younger, and her daughter, Luljeta, when she's almost the same age. I really enjoyed the writing. The author has the ability to transform a mundane sentence into something mesmerizing. Sadly, at a little over halfway, the lack of anything really happening made me bored and the ending didn't make up for that fact. What a disappointing ending.

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for an ARC.