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Reviewed by Christine Nguyen for Readers' Favorite
The Virgin Chronicles is an engaging memoir by Marina DelVecchio about a young woman’s complex relationship with her adoptive mother, Ann. Kathy is used to her mother calling her “putana,” a Greek word with two meanings; a dirty word for the vagina and whore. Little does her mother know that Kathy spends her Friday nights with her Chinese friend, Joyce, watching Disney movies about princesses and princes falling in love. Kathy feels invisible in the apartment in Queens she shares with her mother. She yearns for acceptance, approval, and mostly love. Kathy is a serial dater, dating multiple men but never losing her virginity. She clings to her virginity until she meets a man who can see beyond her body and sexiness. Kathy yearns for the love her mother cannot and will not give her.
Marina DelVecchio is a gifted storyteller. She weaves a story of captivating emotional depths while detailing her romantic experiences with men throughout her early womanhood. The Virgin Chronicles touches something deep inside the reader, something evocative and sensual. The reader feels Kathy’s deep longing for more than physical pleasure and her struggles to deny her body's cravings. This mesmerizing book explores more than just losing one’s virginity. It explores how women are objectified and sexualized daily; the culture and the environment in which women are raised; and the most fundamental relationship between a mother and daughter. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every sentence and was disappointed when the story ended.