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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Donna di Sciacca by Janet Sierzant follows the saga of one family and focuses on the life of Jeanette. The reader is immediately introduced to the Italian family of Giuseppe and Anna. The characteristic traits of the children are captured and accompany them as they evolve into adults: Mariella is shy and timid, Phyllis is cynical but tough, Luciana is thoughtful, and Jeanette stands out as the headstrong one. She displays the Sicilian nature, outgoing and adventurous. But things start getting rocky when Jeanette falls in love with her cousin. It is acceptable back in Sicily, but in Brooklyn, it is taboo, and hence begins the conflict that propels the story into an interesting drama.
Donna di Sciacca is a wonderful story that explores family themes, romance, culture shock, and one woman’s quest for fulfillment in love. The author writes the character of the female protagonist in an intelligent manner, allowing readers to see how her character influences her choices. Forbidden by cultural values to be with the man she loves, she engages in a relationship that suffers from the very beginning. The death of her mother ushers in a new phase in her life - can she now pursue her own dreams? Janet Sierzant is a great storyteller and she captures images of the setting beautifully in the story. The cultural conflict is powerfully depicted and it is interesting for readers who enjoy stories with strong cultural commentaries and elaborately developed characters. It is a gorgeous treat for fans of historical romance with strong female characters.