Believed cursed in her rugged Italian village, a tough, intelligent teen protects her younger sister when the family emigrates to America just before World War II, enduring challenges that transform her views about survival and independence.
...readers who appreciate narratives driven by vivid characterization and family secrets will find much to enjoy here. While the pacing is a bit meandering at times, readers’ patience is richly rewarded in this assured debut, which marks Grames as an author to watch.
[An] entrancing multigenerational family saga ... Grames’ debut will find broad appeal as both an illuminating historical saga and a vivid portrait of a strong woman struggling to break free from the confines of her gender.
[A] vivid and moving debut ... Grames keeps the spotlight on stubborn, independent, and frequently unhappy Stella, while developing a large cast of believably complicated supporting characters ... Grames explores not just the immigrant experience but the stages of a woman’s life. This is a sharp and richly satisfying novel.