**PLEASE BE AWARE, THERE ARE SPOILERS**
Amy Impellizzeri’s novel, SECRETS of WORRY DOLLS (WYATT-MacKenzie) is a novel of grief, love, and truth as a daughter comes to terms with family secrets and deals with the effects of two tragedies. While reading, I wondered several times if it wasn’t too much grief for one family to deal with.
In SECRETS of WORRY DOLLS, there are two parallel narratives, Lu Roselli who at the opening of the novel, has chosen to not board a flight to her mother’s homeland, Guatemala and minutes later the plane crashes, killing everyone on board. The other is her mother, Mari Guarez Roselli, a Guatemalan immigrant, who lives in the neighborhood where the plane crashes is injured and now trapped in a coma thinking back on her life.
Lu is once again crippled with survivor’s guilt, which she’s carried since her sister and father were killed in the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11. She chose not to go on a field trip to Wall Street with her twin sister, Rae and her father was one of the first responders.
At the hospital, Lu not only finds out her mother will most likely not survive, but that she is pregnant. This only adds to the complicated relationship she’s had with her mother over the years. Lu decides to take that flight to Guatemala and see her mother’s friend, a nun who tells her and readers the story Mari is sharing in her narrative. SECRETS of WORRY DOLLS draws on Guatemalan traditions, especially the ritual of sharing one’s worries with tiny dolls and the Mayan calendar projection that the end of the world would occur December 2012. Amy Impellizzeri’s knowledge of Guatemalan culture and history has been extensively researched and it’s an added treat readers get to enjoy while reading, SECRETS of WORRY DOLLS.
The alternating narratives between Lu and Mari was a good technique to use telling the stories, especially since Mari forwards background information while in a coma, that we readers learn, but Lu is unaware of. I always love complicated stories between mothers and daughters. There’s something universal about them, which automatically draws me in. The sprinkling of magical realism throughout the novel was a nice added touch. Without giving away the ending, I will write that I’m grateful that the book ended on a hopeful note. As I wrote at the beginning, there were times, when I just couldn’t handle anymore sadness.
Amy is a reformed corporate litigator, founder of SHORTCUTS Magazine, and award-winning author. Her first novel, Lemongrass Hope (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2014) , was a 2014 INDIEFB Book of the Year Bronze Winner and a National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist. A favorite with bloggers and book clubs, Lemongrass Hope was named the #1 reviewed book in 2014 by blogger, The Literary Connoisseur, and topped several bloggers’ “Best of” Lists in 2015.
Amy is also the author of the non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015). She is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers and President of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Amy currently lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and one energetic Weimaraner, where she keeps up on all of the latest research confirming that caffeine is, in fact, good for you.
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours www.tlcbooktours.com and Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing we have one copy of SECRETS of WORRY DOLLS to give away. What do you worry about too much, that you’d love to hand it off to someone, or perhaps a worry doll?
We’ll announce a winner Monday, December 26th. Good luck.
We’re getting down to the wire. It’s the best time of the year. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season. I’ve already watched Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation” a dozen times. That keeps me laughing and cheerful.