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review 2014-03-23 05:30
Busted Out by Marjorie DeLuca
Busted Out - Marjorie DeLuca

Although this is a book for young adults and not a genre I normally read, I immediately fell under the spell of this story of a group of senior high school kids who lost control over their destiny during their final school year. Within a short period of a few months, an unexpected, dangerous reality was taking over their dreams and aspirations in ways they could not have seen coming.

Kim, Katie, Nick, Jay and Mike hardly knew each other in classes. Each one of them harbored family situations which they all tried to hide in their different ways. What the outside world saw was confident young people making good grades over all. Some were regarded as arrogant party animals, and others were like wallflowers adorning the classrooms in their quiet, shadowy ways. But they all got away with the front they presented to the world, until they discovered the common goal and acted upon it with traumatic results.

All of them had one talent and that was for maths. Some were brilliant and others mediocre, but all of them found a way of using it for purposes other than academic achievements. The common goal was money. 

Between them the young people represented the results of abusive parents, driven by drug- and/or alcohol addiction, divorce, neglect, insecurity, and relationship failures, so typical of the modern collective psyche of our society, which confronts the children of the failed generations. Hope and enthusiasm were all they had to negotiate a way out of it all for themselves. And they made it! But not before someone was dead and all of them injured in some or other form. 

This is a fast-moving, suspenseful drama, keeping the reader riveted to the story from beginning to end. It highlights all aspects of parenting and responsibilities towards the children and how the parents' actions impact on the lives of the youngsters. On another level it educates a young generation on the consequences of choices they make themselves and the ripple effect it has on all the people around them. without being preachy. In fact, it is done masterfully. It is an emotionally-driven tale that captures the reader in every way possible. The author has the ability to read the reader's mind and emotions. She utilizes her skill of in-depth observation of human interaction to pull this story off successfully. I was sad when it ended. A brilliant novel. Although I did not identify with any of the characters, I loved them all and did not want them to go. But I walk away with a feeling of hope and happiness. I know they've got what it takes and will make it.

The Oak Park High School student film, All In produced by film maker, James McLellan, is based on this novel.

Anyone, of all ages, can read it. It is worth the time.


Source: something-wordy-reviews.blogspot.com/2014/03/busted-out-by-marjorie-deluca.html
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review 2014-03-22 06:33
The Pitman's Daughter by Marjorie DeLuca

The Pitman's Daughter by Marjorie DeLuca

Rita was born and bred in Crag street, where "everything was bare and exposed. Life was raw and tough and, God knows, she’d tried hard to smooth out the rough edges she’d been left with."

The pitmen and their extended families called it home, but for most of them it felt more like a poverty trap they could not escape from. Coal mining defined everything they did or had. Black soot and dust colored their lives and stories. But Rita knew she would get away, and so did George. Despite the poverty and hardships, change was waiting to happen that would leave no one untouched. However, love was not easy to come by, but it did change everything when it happened. Sadly, it also did not happen for everyone who deserved it.

Comments: This book can be viewed as a blend of romance and historical fiction with a touch of excellence in detail that winds through the narrative from the beginning to end. The characters are authentic. It took a while to get into the story, but when it happened, reality lost out to this nostalgic tale about the inhabitants of Crag street in this small mining village in England.

Rita was one determined young lady who had to prove her ambitious dreams of escaping the circumstances and people she so despised. Nothing and no one in Crag street could ever make her happy. All she ever dreamed of was not only to get away, but also move as far away as possible. In this amazingly multileveled tale, her journey started out as the learning curve of a ten year-old girl, on her way into adulthood where she must find herself and learn unintentional, unplanned lessons on her way in searching for love and security. Some of those lessons were not supposed to be learnt by innocent young girls, but which, in the end, defined her in ways she never thought possible as an adult. It was only when she was forced to come full circle that she finally understood the real meaning of the brightly flowering lobelias and daisies in the coal miner gardens. But she first had to live out her aspirations, to understand where the strength of her own roots lay hidden and what really determined the core of her happiness.

What a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is once again one of those books that takes the reader into the intimate world of people and history that nobody, except the inhabitants, would have known otherwise. Detailed, descriptive, and fascinating, but also informative and well presented. 

The tale is rich, heartwarming, endearing, passionate, compassionate, sad, hopeful, beautiful. A brilliant piece of writing by a highly skilled author. 
Source: something-wordy-reviews.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-pitmans-daughter-by-marjorie-deluca.html
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review 2013-09-23 00:00
The Pitman's Daughter - Marjorie DeLuca I really enjoyed this vivid tale. Ms. DeLuca transported me to a different time and place so brilliantly that I almost felt that I was right on Crag Street experiencing life alongside these dynamic characters. Although they had hard lives, the sense of community came shining through.

The characters in this book are very skillfully created. They are all very authentic and unforgettable. I really appreciated how realistic their relationships with each other are represented. I also particularly liked that the author used genuine dialect for the dialog and included footnotes for the meaning of some of the words and phrases she used.

I would highly recommend reading this book. It flows very well from start to finish. Ms. DeLuca does a fantastic job of spanning decades without becoming tedious. She is a very talented author with fantastic story-telling abilities. I really look forward to seeing what she may write next.
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