Meet Martin and Carolyn Peterson, the seemingly ideal 1950s couple. Martin is the proud husband and breadwinner while Carolyn is the perfect wife and homemaker. However, their idyllic existence is incomplete without a family. Their imperfections surface when we learn of their inability to conceive naturally. So, they decide to adopt. Their liberal values inspire them to adopt an African American baby, which is unheard of for the racially charged 50s. Meet Elizabeth Marianne Peterson, a sweet innocent girl coming of age in a unique home environment during the rebellious 60s. Outside of the sheltered world of the Petersons, she learns about racial differences and meets her best friend Pamela Gibbons, a Caucasian girl. After a racial incident at school, Elizabeth questions her family origin, which initiates her quest for her cultural identity. As a young adult in the 70s, Elizabeth tragically looses Carolyn and Martin and finds Nkasaa Sudan, the woman she discovers to be her biological mother. After this reunion, Elizabeth becomes so immersed in her newfound experiences, she looses sight of her Peterson identity and her solid friendship with Pamela. After being confronted by Pamela, Elizabeth realizes that she's disregarded a large part of herself. Elizabeth eventually learns to balance both Living Peterson and her African American cultural experiences.
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