Monday, July 6, 2015

Review: The S Word by Paolina Milana

The S Word
by Paolina Milana

Publisher: She Writes Press
Pages: 216
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In accordance with her Sicilian Catholic family’s unspoken code, Paolina Milana learned at an early age to keep her secrets locked away where no one could find them. Nobody outside the family needed to know about the voices her Mamma battled in her head; or about how Paolina forged her birth certificate at thirteen so she could get a job at The Donut Shop; or about the police officer twenty-six years her senior whose promise to her Papà to “keep an eye on her” quickly translated into something sinister. And perhaps that’s why no one saw it coming when—on the eve of her sweet sixteen, pushed to edge—Paolina attempted to take her own mother’s life. 

Kritters Thoughts:  A memoir that there were a few moments that were very uncomfortable and I had to remind myself over and over again that this was not fiction and really happened.  Paolina's story begins near the end and then goes back in time to bring you back to the first chapter and then beyond that chapter - I loved how this was set up, it was so interesting.

Paolina has a very hard childhood - she must get a job young to help her family and this ages her faster than most and because of this I think she was swept up into a working world (yes a donut shop) but not amongst her peers.  Not only does she have to help support her family, but she comes from a family that isn't completely comfortable in America and English isn't the first language of her parents.  Beyond that she has a mother who isn't your typical American nurturing mother - instead she is probably battling with schizophrenia and the medical world isn't quite ready for these neurological diseases.  

This was a difficult read - not because of the words or descriptors, but instead because of all the hard subject matters.  Again and again this book kept surprising me because I couldn't believe all of these things happened to one girl/young woman.  Not only did she experience all these things but she didn't have a safe home to help build her up and I was wishing so many things for her.  This book made me appreciate the safe home I had as a childhood and the safe home that I have now.

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Booksparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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