The biggest merit of Donatella Di Pietratonio in “A Girl Returned” is writing a book about despair without despair. The main character had every reason to give up. Not looking forward to anything else and accepting her new life, becoming just another ordinary family member who didn’t aspire for anything else than only paying the bills. But she didn’t do that. She used all the emotions to fuel herself in solving the big mystery. She’s an angry and confused teenager, not a desperate one. And in this case, being infuriated and confused were good emotions.
By being enraged, the main character didn’t stop. The angriness kept her moving forward, trying to get to the bottom of everything. Trying to understand what happened, why the mom and the dad did what they did. And why they were doing what they were doing. And by being confused, she didn’t lose herself. She didn’t know what was happening, so she thought that the only way of getting back was by being what “mamma” taught her to be. By being a good girl, she put herself on a pathway to become much more than she or anyone could have imagined.
And that’s all merit of Donatella Di Pietratonio. The writer does a marvellous job of creating not only the world but the characters; the sisters, brothers, moms, dads, uncles are all so, so real! And, of course, the main character is the cherry on top. She’s real. She exists. After just a couple of pages, you already have a connection to her because she looks, she is, real. After a while, you forget that the book is fiction. After a few chapters, the author convinced you that the story truly happened.
“A Girl Returned” by Donatella Di Pietrantonio is a spectacular book. It’s one of those books that you want to read as fast as possible because you cannot put it aside. But you also want to take as long as possible because the reading experience is so good that you don’t want to finish.
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