Synopsis: Set in the 1960s, this is about the Gauci family, and the cruelties of a father, who never wanted his six daughters. He doesn't think they are of any good, as much as they would be if they were sons instead.
With the youngest in the family narrating with her own point of view, along with her sisters', she tells the story of their suffering and struggle living with a haunting past with a selfish father and an oppressed mother.
Review: I like authors/writers that are able to describe in full detail the scenarios and the characters without droning on with description. I like it when they use the story's heart to capture my imagination. This author and this novel are able to do that.
First of all, the entire book was simply honest, relentless, and fearless. There were times that I knew to myself, I wasn't just reading words anymore, but listening to hidden characters burst out with their secret heart break and sorrows.
Speaking of, the characters were extremely likable, and relate-able, with their own distinct personalities and capabilities. I found them to be very believable, especially with how they would react to certain situations and events. And like I said, the best part was that the book didn't just make me think, but also feel for them.The author obviously took time to build these characters, developing them smoothly and effectively. The plot, also, had good development. As we learn more about these characters, we also dig deeper into the reasons why and how they have become like that.
Having said that, I think the writing was intelligent, and full of compassion and understanding of human condition and nature.
Also, I know the pace is important when people pick books to read, and so yes, I can say that this was fast-paced, easy to read, and had a nice flow to it. It's kind of hard to imagine that this was really the author's first published novel. Her efforts are really just good, and none were juvenile and naive. Even when there were moments that were disturbing and difficult to read (and accept), I read on because I really did find myself completely drawn into the story.
A premise like this could easily have spiraled into a cliche and corny Lifetime movie, but Azzopardi does such a great job making it as realistic as possible. With clarity and grace, the author weaves an engaging, haunting, and inspiring fiction story that is both powerfully tragic as it is beautiful. For sure, this one will stick with me for a while.