I just finished “The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna” by Juliet Grames, and my life will never be the same. Was that too dramatic? Eh, probably not dramatic enough. I cannot tell you how thoroughly I enjoyed this book. Favorite read of the Summer, and the summer isn’t even over yet. Nothing can live up to this for the rest of August.
Favorite Death- The Nightmare
Least Favorite Death- The Drowning
Favorite Character- Tina
Major Themes- Family, Love, Mental Health, Immigration, American Dream
This book is about Stella Fortuna, a woman born in the Italian country side in the early 20th century. She is a very unlucky woman despite her name. Stella has seven or eight near death experiences throughout her lifetime. The book is split into parts based on which death she is experiencing, which I found really cool.
Stella immigrates to the United States when she is 22 years old. Her father has been in the states most of her life, and he finally calls the rest of the family to join him. Moving to America is not Stella’s dream scenario, but she tries to make the best of it; despite, her sexually perverse father’s presence back in her life.
The book is far from Fiction. Juliet Grames is the granddaughter of Stella Fortuna. She learned these stories from her grandmother, the family ,and the community. Knowing that this is a work based in truth makes the events all the more joyful, heart wrenching, and blood boiling. I felt the full range of emotions in this books 430 pages.
I will say this book could be triggering for victims of sexual abuse. It’s something to think about when picking it up. I have thick skin, but even I had to put it down a few times. However, the upsetting content did not takeaway from my enjoyment of the story. Domestic violence happens in life, and decades ago, before women had more power in relationships like they do now, bad things were all the more common.
This book is even more special to me because a professor lent it to me to read. He knows the author, and thought this book and I would be a perfect match. I’m so thankful! I never would have picked this up on my own, and I would have missed out on an amazing novel.
Keep reading Bookworms xx