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.
Guest Review by Melannie White
First let me start by saying it has been a while since I have read a book from a memoir perspective. With that being said as I read I honestly felt like I was traveling with back in time/seeing things through her eyes as she told her story. The story begins with Lucia now 110 Years old (WOW!!) asked to tell her life’s story by a young woman writing her dissertation. Lucia tells her story of growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s as the second born child in a dysfunctional family (Seriously her parents have some ISSUES! = UNHAPPY MARRIAGE). In this book you witness Lucia’s emotional stresses , sibling rivalry’s and even some physical abuse.
Each chapter in this book is a different event (Life Lesson if you will) Lucia has had to deal with. As tragic events continue to unfold in her life we witness a young women not fold but gain strength in the face of adversity. Once the book is approaching its end a situation occurs were Lucia is forced to LEAVE home. I remember thinking at this point despite the situation maybe she will finally be able to find the happiness and love she deserves!
This book for me was a hard read. In the beginning I was drawn in but as the middle of the book approached my ATTENTION SPAN wasn’t all there. Through this whole book I just wanted Lucia to FEEL LOVED. Her grandfather had to be one of my favorite characters because he loved her and she loved him.
” Perhaps I could accept the fact that my parents did not love me, because I had the love of the one person who had come to mean everything to me in life. My Grandfather.” – Lucia
If I had to think of one thing that I really like about this book it would have to be the historical points Mrs. Speranza used. Though this is a work of fiction how she made them fit together in this book was really good (Nope Sorry not giving any away !!!) This book is a pretty LENGTHY read. But the journey Lucia takes you on through her life growing up is one not easily forgotten. At some Points in this book I found myself Thankful/BLESSED for the life I have and the LOVE surrounding me as I grew up.
***NOTE: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
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