Friday, June 12, 2015
by Maria Kostaki
When her mother, Anna, abandons her to move abroad with her new husband, Sasha is passed around her three grandparents in Cold War-era Moscow, attending first grade with a Lenin star pinned to her breast. Five years later, Anna and her husband reappear and whisk Sasha off to a better life in Athens, Greece. But they are not the gallant rescuers they first appear to be, and Sasha soon finds herself caught between a violent stepfather and a psychologically abusive mother. In her struggle to survive in her new world, Sasha turns to a world of invisible friends even as she continues to long for something real. At turns haunting and uplifting, Pieces is the story of one girl's survival and self-discovery and her continual search for love in a world where she has been given none."
In Pieces, we follow Sasha in her journey back to Greece upon learning of a death in the family. The journey brings with it many memories of a life once led, including memories of Sasha's dysfunctional mother. This book is not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. I was glad to read a book that took its time with emotion - no matter how painful that emotion could be. The book covers many areas that culminate in what it means to exist in a broken family.
Reader, if you come across this book, I ask that you give its characters a chance. I've heard them described as whiny and annoying, but really - it's the story that leads to understanding. This is a subtle and honest look to what it means to live in this kind of a world.