The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames is a recently published novel which left me very disappointed. This fictional story about a woman named Stella is narrated by her granddaughter. In the beginning, Stella is an old woman who has undergone a lobotomy. I should have known right there the story would not be a happy one. The premise that Stella’s numerous near death experiences where orchestrated by the ghost of her dead sister with the same name was too fantastic for me.
Stella and her family came to America from Italy just as the Second World War began. Her pervert father, who moved to the U.S. earlier and had abandoned his wife and children on and off for years prior, suddenly arranges for them to emigrate at the last minute. Even though they don’t want to leave their small village, they do because the man of the house calls all the shots.
Once in America, their lives go further downhill – not surprising because the father is a tyrant.
This is one of those books I “stuck with” under the mistaken hope it would get better. Unfortunately, it never did. I recommend skipping this one.