Saturday, August 1, 2015

The S Word, a Memoir by Paolina Milana

I received a complimentary book to help me write an honest review. I am participating in this  BookSparks' TRUTH OR DARE Blog Tour, reviews contain my own affiliate links for the books being read and discussed. #BookSparks

Continuing on this month I have another memoir to share from the BookSparks Truth and Dare Tour. This book has been described as a "gut punch" and begs for you to contemplate the meaning behind the word "S". The cover forshadows many different ideas within the book, but for me it came down to two little "s" words, Secrets and Survival.

The S Word, a Memoir by Paolina Milana

Some secrets are too big to keep.

As a young girl, Paolina does her best to keep the secrets she holds: secrets about her Mamma's schizophrenia, secrets about her sexual awakening, secrets about her seduction-turned-rape; secrets about having to play the role of the good Sicilian Catholic girl. But the longers she keeps her secrets, the heavier their weight becomes, suffocating her - until, finally, she finds the strength to save herself.

My Review

I have to admit this was a heavy read for me. I think all families have secrets, but this girl had to endure the burden of more than her share. My heart broke for her and the compassion and help that was missing from her life.

I kept reading till the end because I wanted Paolina to be saved or to break free of her bad situations. I did not want her to end up like the characters around her, all of them seemed just a little twisted and empty. The highlight were the memories and moments with her Papa, but even he was not able to change things for her. The author was so honest with her recollections of her Mamma and the challenges the family faced. But, I could still tell that Paolina loved her family deeply and the sense of loyalty and unconditional love lead her to keep her secrets and protect those around her.

Though I don't want to spoil the journey that Paolina Milana takes her readers on, I have to say that in the end the word that comes to mind is, Survivor. This is not a book I will easily forget, but an emotional journey with real grit and brutal honesty.

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