Intriguing story from beginning to end
From the minute I started reading this book I was captivated and immediately found it intriguing and well written. The author is very descriptive and I could almost smell, taste and imagine being there. It is set in Albania in 1910 and the many references to life at that time kept me interested and curious. I read the first 114 pages in one sitting and then read the rest of the book in another afternoon. I really was hanging on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next.
When reviewing a book it is easy to give away too much information and spoil it for a potential reader so I will just briefly skirt over the contents of this book and how I felt about the story.
Initially I thought it was a bit of a Cinderella type story, with Diana being spoilt by her dad and her step mom (Mirlinda) being treated unfairly. I soon realised that Diana was going to have a difficult life with many struggles, but she seemed very tough and able to handle herself very quickly. I felt mixed emotions about Mirlinda. At times I felt sad for the life that Diana had and how her life sometimes took on a sad and unfair path but I could see that she could be unfair to Mirlinda and being spoilt by her father as a young girl this spilled over into some of her decisions that got her into trouble. Not all the things that went on in her life were her fault and the decisions she had to make were often more out of survival than choice. Through sets of circumstances she finds herself in, there is violence, hardship and betrayal, but also genuine love.
There are lots of reference to life during this period and it must have been a very difficult time for both men and women. A lot of emphasis is on women of the time and what was expected of them. This book was refreshing and great to see that a woman was the main character. There were many twists and turns in the book and right up until the last page I was wondering how it would end.
I highly recommend this book and found it very entertaining and could visualise the scenes in detail because the author described everything in such fine detail. A very well written and very enjoyable book.