Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
One of the most endearing--& odd--main characters I've read!
on April 10, 2005
I had just finished reading a VERY heavy novel and this one was recommended to me as being very funny so I thought it would be a perfect choice to cheer me up. I mistook "funny" to mean that it was a light story--it's not. It is a story full of sadness and misfortune. However, it is made more palatable by a main character (a little girl named ChiChi) who is such a life force and a spitfire that she frames most things in a wry, if not outright funny, way. She is a real corker!
The writing of this book was very enjoyable...you can hear ChiChi's impertinent language and see her wacky behavior. ChiChi believes to her core that SHE ALONE has responsibility for keeping horrible things from happening to her loved ones by praying, by use of The Evil Eye (taught to her by her beloved grandmother) on those who would threaten her family, and by a dizzying array of bizarre rituals she performs during troubled times (hopping on one foot, walking on the outsides of her feet, etc.). Her absolute devotion to her family, but especially her sickly baby brother, Marco, is breath-taking (even though her devotion is so often shown in bizarre and sometimes self-destructive ways).
The writing of the novel and the character of ChiChi were so superior that I was able to continue reading through the constant onslaught of misfortunes experienced by the family (even though I was thinking "SHEESH! Enough already!"). I understand that the "bad stuff" is necessary to show the strength and will of the characters to survive...and how overcoming so much misfortune makes you bond with the characters even more...but I still say this could have been achieved with a little LESS "bad stuff."
Granted, going right from a really heavy book to this one didn't help matters. Maybe if I'd have come from a lighter book to this one, it would have hit me differently. For the record, though, this isn't a weepy book (at least not for me) so that was at least one break I got from the last one! :)