This book was so well written and was reminiscent of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, narrating one girl’s early life growing up in New York amid struggle and hardship. Lucia’s difficulties are a result of her incredibly unhappy and combative parents who frequently berate and beat her, denying her of any self worth. The lack of love in Lucia’s life is so sad and at times difficult to read. The utter negativity of her childhood and adolescence is perpetuated by her blistering mother Ruth, her argumentative father Leonard, and her competitive older sister Lynn. It is these infuriating characters that give Lucia intense self-consciousness and a lack of direction. Poor Lucia’s only hope is to eventually leave her parent’s home, but her ambitions seem to be sabotaged at every turn.
Despite the pervading sadness of Lucia’s narrative, the writing is excellent. The imagery is expressed so well, like when Leonard is upset, he has a habit of furiously blinking his eyes. I must warn you, be prepared for a very abrupt ending, as this novel is obviously only the first in a series about Lucia’s long life. This is subtitled The Early Years, ending when she’s in her early 20’s. So yes, I am anticipating the next chapter in Lucia’s unhappy life, hoping she can find some solace and much deserved joy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via TLC Book Tours.