Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review # 253: The Tale of Lucia Grandi - The Early Years by Susan Speranza

Description: (from Amazon)
     When an old woman is asked to tell the story of her life, she tells is an intense and poignant tale about growing up in and surviving an irrational, warring suburban family during the 1950s and 60s. The narrative is told from Lucia’s perspective as the second child where she and her siblings are caught in the middle of a lifelong war between her mother, Ruth, an overbearing, unhappy homemaker, and her father, Leonard, a manipulative, sometimes violent New York City cop. Lucia is the silent, thoughtful eyewitness to her parents’ constant and sometimes life-threatening battle.   
     The story is told 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 siblings. 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.This timeless story of one woman’s courageous attempt to come to terms with her past and the troubled family that dominated it is powerfully and poignantly told.
*This novel recently made it to the Quarter final rounds in the 

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest!!!


     There comes to a point in time when a person has to evaluate their life - what is to come, what has been, and how it is/was lived. Everyone's life is wholly unique, filled with a conglomeration of seemingly random events, emotions, triumphs and regrets. Each individual has a distinct personality for leaving their mark on the world - no matter their age. Everyone has a story, and The Tale of Lucia Grandi: The Early Years is one that I will not soon forget! I was hooked to Lucia's story from the first page, her kind and down-to-earth wits creating a welcoming and slightly comedic tone. I knew that she was going to be a handful of a character, but I felt an instant resonance towards her and her temperament. Susan Speranza weaved an emotional tale that can be enjoyed by a diverse readership - perfect for any walk of life. Her poetic writing style was visually stimulating, as well as easy-to-understand. Lucia's fictitious biography, although rather large, proved to be a powerful and  worthwhile read. I learned a great many life lessons from her actions and experiences and was left wanting more, (The Later Years?). The novel carried a moderate pace, a structured story-line, bold characters, and a historical charm that never ceased to keep me interested; Lucia's life was thoroughly lived - through thick and thin. I would definitely read it again. Highly recommended for all readers!

Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)

***I received a copy of this book from the author (Lightning Book Promotions) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Aurthor: (from Amazon)

     Once upon a Time...I was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island where I had an interesting and creative childhood. Once in college, I studied Psychology and Philosophy, but since "thinking" didn't translate into earning money or job security, I worked at a variety of different and unrelated jobs both in New York City and on Long Island.

     ​In order to keep me sane through all the craziness of life, I spent my spare time writing. Anything and everything. The culmination of this was a fantasy - The City of Light - which has recently been reissued as an ebook.

    ​I took up the hobby of dog showing and breeding and produced many Pekingese Champions. You can see them over at our Castlerigg Pekingese website (

     ​Somewhere in the middle of my life so far, after a great personal upheaval, I went back to school, became a High School Librarian. I managed to fulfill my childhood dream of living in the country when I finally escaped suburbia and moved to Vermont where I now happily live with my beautiful Pekes.
But I've never stopped writing. ​My biography (as with my life, I hope) is to be continued...

     THE TALE OF LUCIA GRANDI, THE EARLY YEARS is my first novel. I recently entered the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, where this novel made it unexpectedly to the Quarter finals. It was also on the short list of finalists in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Competition. The book was entered in both contests under its former name, MY LIFE IN DOGS, THE EARLY YEARS. For more information visit:

Tour schedule:


1st Phaedra @ Identity Discovery (guest post)

2nd Sheila @ Sheila Deeth (guest post)

3rd Andi @ Radiant Light

5th Vidya @ Books are Magic

7th Denise @ The Pen Muse

9th Darryl @ Savage Lullabye (spotlight)

10th Nicole @ Pretty Opinionated (guest post)

11th Georgiana @ Coupon Clipping Texan

12th Bette @ 4writersandreaders (interview)

13th Marissa @ For The Love of Film and Novels (guest post)

14th vb @ Books For Me

15th Julia @ Talk Story TV (interview)

16th Melina @ Melina’s Book Blog (guest post)

19th Leslie @ Storeybook Reviews

21st Kathleen @ Celticlady Reviews

22nd Allizabeth @ The Paperback Pursuer 

24th Hayley @ Hanging Off The Wire

25th Autumn @ The Avid Reader

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