Surviving Valencia by Holly Tierney-Bedord is a story that made me think, had me wondering, and took me in a direction that I wasn’t expecting. At first the story seemed a little slow and confusing. But as it progressed and the story unfolded, what I discovered was a cleverly crafted story that twisted and turned and then twisted some more. The way it’s told from both past and present perspectives really helped to build a ‘picture’ of how the past events have influenced the character/s and got her/them to where they are today. There is a lot of gloominess, and depressing details that ‘coloured’ the storyline- but as I look back, I see what the author was trying to achieve and how well that all played into the whole mood and tone of the story. I had trouble connecting to the character/s, but I did ‘feel’ for her/them- and overall this didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of it all. I would like to have know her name though- that was a little frustrating. But again, by the end, it kind of made sense why we were not given/told her name.
This isn’t a ‘fluffy’ story, it is a ‘warts-and-all’ account of a younger sister coming to terms with the loss of her older, ‘perfect’ siblings- and the shadow that they left her living under. The story is definitely not what it seems and will get you guessing and give you quite a few head scratching moments. The story has drama, mystery, tension, secrets, life changing events, devastation, acceptance, twists, shocks, and more.
I have read quite a few of Ms. Tierney-Bedord’s books now and she always manages to craft something quite original. She has her own unique style and always delivers a well written and intriguing read. The story is a standalone, and a great addition to the other books in her body of work.
Thank you Ms. Tierney-Bedord!
Reviewed by @angelahayes