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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Seeing Red by Claudia Ricci is a work of literary fiction that revolves around the life of a woman named Ronda. Ronda's youth and her evolution as a promising dancer start Ricci's novel off. Ronda's story begins to really take flight following a date she had as a college teenager with her professor, which started with some cinnamon and ended sometime later with Ronda having a baby. Fast forward and Ronda is an adult with an incredible son and a husband lugging his suitcase out the door because Ronda is pregnant again. Also, it's not his and she's having an affair, but that's actually the best part. Ronda is in the midst of her own personal Renaissance and has her own suitcases to lug. Things come full circle when the “How long?” her husband shouts is the exact same phrase she shouts herself, and that's when we really see Ronda live for what she loves. To dance.
Claudia Ricci is an exceptionally talented author who has the ability to elicit a long groan and a surprised laugh from a reader in the same breath. Ronda is fully fleshed and authentic, she is a likable character and through her, we see the pure gold of Ricci's prose in Seeing Red. It's probably the dialogue that was most amusing but the acerbic voice of the narrative that can turn painful moments into cleverly worded quips is a bonus. I'm certain there was a 'Meet Virginia' pun but I was devouring the story so fast I may have just hoped for it. As for ancillary characters, nobody is given mercy in Ricci's witty portrayal but it's interesting that we don't begrudge the character for their failings. Ronda is perfectly imperfect. Ronda's way of dealing with problems is to run, often into the arms of the unworthy, but don't mistake this for a romance novel. Seeing Red is a coming of age for those of us who are coming of age in a different way, and it's beautiful to witness the drive of a person who persists even when she's told, “Lo siento pero no es possible.” Very highly recommended.