Tragically Beautiful

A Memoir By Kuko Alamala

Non-Fiction - Memoir
251 Pages
Reviewed on 01/22/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ryan Jordan for Readers' Favorite

Tragically Beautiful: A Memoir by Kuko Alamala is the author's compelling and moving memoir about an abusive stepfather, and the troubled marriage of his parents and the impact it had on him. He dealt with depression, multiple suicide attempts, and a number of other horrible situations that most people know nothing about. There are a large number of important people in the narrator's life, such as his mother, uncle, siblings, and more, and they were all brought together with clever descriptions like his uncle's broken English. Annabel was an interesting situation, and the fact that everything got better and then resoundingly worse so quickly for him in such a painful way.

The writing was clean and the descriptions of what was happening were vivid and striking. There is a moment at the end of Chapter 4 when the line reads: "This was the moment I condemned my mother and sisters to a lifetime of agony." This stuck out and really helped to symbolize why things were so painful, because he was able to blame himself for events like what had transpired and regret the decisions he made. I appreciated how honest the author was in depicting all of these powerful moments in his life, and the willingness to put himself out there like that. I can see this book helping people going through similar situations and having to deal with their own depression. Tragically Beautiful is a powerful memoir with an honest and moving message that was captivating from beginning to end. Well done! I loved the story.

Christian Sia

Tragically Beautiful: A Memoir by Kuko Alamala is an interesting memoir that deals with very interesting themes, including family, love, parenting, depression, suicide, and redemption. Kuko is barely five years old when his parents go through the painful experience of divorce. Not long after, he knows an abusive step-father. As a young boy, he seems to receive tougher challenges than he can handle. He is just fourteen when he has his first child. He has to face the challenges of being a father while going through the transformations of puberty. In this memoir, the author shares the pains and struggles of his humanity, his despair, and the spiritual journey towards hope.

The writing isn’t stellar, but the story is compelling enough to have readers turning the pages, at times thinking the narrator would give up. Told in the first person narrative, the voice comes across powerfully. Readers will enjoy the simplicity of style, the sincerity of the voice, and the bluntness with which the author shares his story. It was the title that first caught my attention and I thought I would be reading about a heroine, but then I was introduced to a completely different world.

Kuko Alamala did a great job in offering a setting that is as interesting as the story. Tragically Beautiful also explores conflict at multiple levels — moral, physical, and psychological. But the level of conflict that will arrest the attention of readers is the one taking place within the protagonist. Each of us has our share of struggles, pain, and suffering, but how we deal with them is what matters, and this book will encourage many readers to look at life with optimism.

Divine Zape

I have been into memoirs for the past two years and have read a good number of them. It is amazing to notice how the lives of others can speak to us, and Tragically Beautiful: A Memoir by Kuko Alamala is one of such lives. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Kuko will not enjoy living under the same roof with his parents when he turns five. After the separation, he is introduced to an abusive step-father. The narrator is soon to become a parent at the tender age of fourteen, a child becoming a father, and apart from learning to take care of his own children and their mother, he suffers from bouts of depression. Can Kuko hold it together? The reader is introduced to a character that grows out of the pain into which life throws him, a man who has considered suicide in many instances, but who through the light of faith forges a path for himself and his loved ones.

Tragically Beautiful: A Memoir by Kuko Alamala is an inspiring story with a message of hope for readers. The message that we are bigger than our challenges comes across powerfully and eloquently. Readers will enjoy the simplicity of style and the clarity of the narrative voice. Although this is a beautiful story, I felt that it could have read even better with good professional editing. However, the problem with grammar is a small issue compared with the beauty of the story and the hope it proclaims. It was an enjoyable read.

Ismael sanchez sr

I just finished reading the book . This book is amazing. Yo i cant stop reading rereading. As his farher . This is a true story. A moving story. I was part of this story.