- Print Length: 428 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 094465701X
- Publisher: Brook House Press; 1st edition (October 23, 2012)
When an old woman is asked to tell the story of her life, she tells an intense and poignant tale about growing up in and surviving a warring suburban family during the 1950s and ’60s.
Written as a memoir, each chapter describes a particular incident in Lucia’s life which shows the constant struggle between her parents and the perverse effect it has on her and her family. From her complicated and unwanted birth, to her witnessing a suicide at age 3, to her stint as a runaway at age 14, the story progresses to the final crisis where as a young woman she is turned out of her house and banished from her family forever.
Told in breathtakingly beautiful prose, this is a powerful and timeless story of a dying woman’s courageous attempt to come to terms with her past and the troubled family that dominated it.
This book (under its former title of “My Life in Dogs, the Early Years”) was a Quarter finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. It was also on the short list of finalists in the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom Writing Competition.
The synopsis sounds fantastic and I was very eager to participate in TLC’s book tour. The story starts out quite interesting, but then takes a downward spiral. Very lengthy with little dialogue, as it is told in 1st person, it becomes quite intense with little respite with sprinkles of joy and fun memories. Rather, it is such a intense and depressing storyline, that you almost wonder how a 100+ year old woman could live that long with not much joy. I would have liked to have read more dialogue, had more joyful memories to balance the book, and perhaps developed the relationship between Lucia and the doctoral student/researcher. There were moments that didn’t seem very realistic…children don’t typically remember suicides at 3 years old, nor do they remember the memories with such vivid detail. The chapters seemed to focus on different ages of Lucia and there were moments that Lucia’s age jumped around, rather than stay constant with her aging as the chapters progressively in chronological order. One chapter, she would be 4, then next she was 3. Overall, I would have liked a more balanced book emotionally and more detail in the personal relationships between Lucia and others, rather than the relationships between others and observed through Lucia.
*The book was provided by TLC, in exchange for an honest review.
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