Author Maria Savva
Set between the 1950s and the late 1990s, “A Time to Tell” is the poignant story of Cara, from her dramatic attempted suicide to her roles as a smitten eighteen-year-old, unmarried mother, wife, widow and grandmother, and her final, passionate reunion with the man she has always loved. It is also the parallel tale of Cara’s prodigal son Benjamin and his daughter Penelope, whose unhappy relationship with her father has led her into marriage with a man whose own dysfunctional family have turned him into a person who at first seems strangely attractive, but turns out to have a dark and terrifying side…Rich in colourful characters and pertinent social themes, “A Time to Tell” is an eventful and often disturbing tale of the pain and pleasures of family relationships.
GEMS: What a family! Everyone has his or her own dysfunctional way of dealing with a situation whether it is suicide, alcoholism or abuse. Each person’s inability to cope is fascinating, while at the same time, mundane. Assumingly set in an average class of people, the seemingly extraordinary behavior becomes ordinary. What happens within the family and behind closed doors is swept away and neatly hidden, or expressed as a private matter that will be dealt with, but never really is. The people presumably in control are actually out of control. Finger pointing, guilt and denial add to the cyclic, repetitious story that plagues the family for generations. This disconnect is well portrayed and leaves the reader questioning who is to blame and wondering who is truly responsible?
FLAWS: The only drawback is the repetition does become a little redundant, but this is a matter of style and personal taste. I interpret it as a creative liberty and can appreciate the approach rather than be critical of the sentence structure. The content is there and upon further examination I think the style could be an interesting topic for discussion. How does it add or distract from the telling of the story?