Today it is my pleasure to serve as Sandra Novack’ hostess on her Precious blog tour organized by TLC Book Tours. What a great way to kick off the week! Please see information on her entire tour and the giveaway at the end of this post. For more information on TLC Book Tours, their authors and all of their tour dates, please click here.
Sissy Kisch grew up in a confusing family during a confusing time. Her family lived in a Pennsylvania steel town in the 1970s, where her father has been employed at the local steel mill for his entire adult life. Her mother, Natalia, a gypsy child who luckily survived Krackow and was raised by a German couple, has left the family to go off to Florence with her boss. She left Sissy and Eva, the oldest child by several years, to be cared for by their father. In reality, since Frank worked long hours, Sissy was left in Eva’s care and Eva didn’t want to be saddled with the responsibility of raising her pre-pubescent sister while she was enjoying the freedom of not being parented at the age of 17. Shortly after Natalia’s exit, Vicki Anderson, Sissy’s former best friend turns up missing from the local playground. Being virtually neglected all around, Sissy has to come to terms with the possibility of death, losing a parent, and growing up all alone while her home is in upheaval during one long, hot summer.
Every single character in Precious is flawed, from the Kisch family, to Ginny Anderson, to Peter and Amy Fulton, and even the well-meaning but gossip-mongering neighbors. When characters are not hurting one another, they are acting out in a self-destructive way. Eva especially turns her anger over her parent’s relationship and her mother’s abandonment on to herself. She was too young and immature to see it at that time, but she couldn’t control her parents or Sissy. The only thing she could do was decide to control her sexuality. The hard truth was that her choices only served to highlight how out of control her entire life was. When others were able to pass off the responsibility for what happened during that summer, she always got caught red-handed. Of all the characters, I felt the most sad for Eva.
Novack’s writing is beautiful in so many parts. The first chapter and the way that she told the story of Vicki’s disappearance drew me in to this town and to the Kisch family in general. I remained interested in what would happen to all of the characters throughout, despite the fact that I didn’t care for any of the adults. At some point we all need to let go of what happened to us in the past, especially if that has a negative impact on our parenting. The only problem I really had with this story was Sissy’s name. I know there is Sissy Spacek, but I didn’t like it. No matter how much she hated to be alone, I didn’t think it fit Sissy’s character. Regardless, I would highly recommend Precious to anyone who grew up in or lived through the 70s, experienced troubled teenage years, or enjoys reading novels about family dynamics. You will not be disappointed in this experience – so long as you’re prepared and ready for a heavy read. This is a dark novel and it doesn’t provide the reader with much emotional downtime.
Here is a full list of Sandra Novack’s other TLC Book Tours Stops. Check them out and see what they have to say:
Monday, May 4th: Fizzy Thoughts
Wednesday, May 6th: Book, Line, and Sinker
Thursday, May 7th: Redlady’s Reading Room
Sunday, May 10th, Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Wednesday, May 13th: Bookworm with a View
Thursday, May 14th: Pop Culture Junkie
Friday, May 22nd: Booking Mama
Tuesday, May 26th: Book Addiction
Friday, May 29th: Diary of an Eccentric
To buy this novel, click here.