giovedì 15 novembre 2012

Review of Daniela Sacerdoti’s “Watch Over Me”

Dear readers, this special column is back and this time we are going to talk about “Watch over me”, a novel by the Italian author Daniela Sacerdoti published in the UK in 2011 but not yet released in Italy. It is a story about feelings, life pain and love.
The author has already published her second novel: “Dream” (a YA) in May even if she is almost unknown in her own country.
We decided to put this column together with the reviews so that we can delve into “Watch over me”.

Watch Over Me – Daniela Sacerdoti
Eilidh Lawson’s life has just turned upside down. Her marriage is over and she lost her so longed-for baby. Mentally and physically exhausted, she’s not sure on what to do but she feels oddly compelled to return to Glen Avich, the small village in the Scottish Highlands, where her family has been living for generations. There, she meets her childhood best friend: Jamie McAnena, who is raising his daughter alone.
After the death of his mother Elizabeth, Jamie is living with his daughter Maisie, who is his only family.
What none of them know is that Elizabeth, could not leave his son lost in his loneliness and it is her spirit that brought Eilidh back to Glen Avich.
Her aim is to rejoin Jamie and Eilidh, but they are both scared from their past and Elizabeth spirit by itself cannot make all their fears disappear.

An ethereal tale narrated from several different perspectives, “Watch Over Me” is a beautifully written debut novel. It is a poignant yet subtle story about letting go and moving on – with a little bit of help from beyond the grave.

Publisher: Black & White Publishing 
Publication date: 15 November 2011 
Pages: 256 
Literary Genre: Novel 
Price: £ 11.99 


“Beyond the fear and the pain, love is there to catch us when we fall. This is what I learned, one spring night in the woods, and since then, I am not afraid”.

When your mind is crossed by pain, you can find a way to get back on top despite being lost. Even in the darkest moments, a decision can radically change the course of your life. Thus is for Eilidth and Jamie, the main characters of this story, real people who have not lived in an easy life.
Elidth is torn by attempts to have a baby; Jamie is broken from a love that has left him picking up the pieces of his heart to take care of his daughter.
And then there is Elizabeth, Jamie’s mother spirit, who decide to fix things, drawing closer these two childhood friends. She believes that their loneliness can be overcome only by bringing  those two hearts together, because they both have what it takes for the other.

"Watch Over Me" is a novel about feelings, the ups and downs of life, the joy of being a parent and the pain of not being able to be a mother. The immediate easiness of the words runs faster on the page, making it enjoyable, and it shows a bluntly and plain human relations analysis. No one has a perfect life, nobody finds easy to move forward, whether it is because of the pain caused by a loss or  a choice of life to make.

 Although  the "supernatural" element represented by Elizabeth may seem a bit dissonant, it gives us not only a change of perspective, but also a chance to be ahead of the characters and to discover some more detail  about the story they are precluded to know. In the same way the sequence of the different points of view from chapter to chapter allows the reader to understand better not only the facts, but also the various shades of the characters' personality, rather than mislead him.

I found this book really nice, and never predictable although it is pretty sentimental, and it is light even though it deals with sad matters. Daniela Sacerdoti has proven to be a good writer, telling us a story like many others and making it appreciable without falling into clichés. Hes style is straightforward and concise, perhaps influenced by the British tradition in the way she examines the situations without being lenghty even if very accurate.

I really hope to read this novel in Italian soon, I think it really deserves to be recognised for its artistic value even without pointing out the fact Sacerdoti is Italian, and that in our country - forgive the controversy- it is a common tendency to prefer the “easy to sell” product instead of one of high quality ad value. Italian readers deserve a good reading, well witten and real.

Daniela Sacerdoti
She is a mother and a writer. She was Born in Naples, but grew up in a small village in the Italian Alps, she lives near Glasgow with her husband and sons. She calls herself a thief of time – she steals time to write when everyone has gone to bed, or before they wake up. She was a Primary School teacher, but she chose to retire to stay  at home with her children. She loves to spend time with her children, doing art with them, reading anything she can get her hands on and chatting with her girlfriends. But she also adores to be on her own, free to daydream and make up stories.

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