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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Pieta by William Zink

Title: Pieta
Author: William Zink
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Sugar Loaf Press
Publish Date: July 10, 2010
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a fiction fan.
  • You don't mind hard subjects.
What's the Story?:

From "Jim Priest's mother is dying. With his daughter beside him, he alternates caretaking duties with his sister. A year earlier his father died in a mysterious fashion—the head of the Virgin Mary from a lifelong sculpting project of The Pieta fell on top of him, killing him instantly. As days pass by, his mother falling in and out of coherency, the buried secrets of a bittersweet childhood re-emerge, forcing the four of them to accept, if not fully resolve, the limitations of their bonds. Pieta is a story about personal ambition, the anguish of unrequited affection, and the redemptive spirit of a young girl. In concise, elegant prose, William Zink examines the singular, yet universal, forces tugging at the hip of a family in the midst of its most epic chapter."

My Two Cents:

At its core, Pieta is really a book about probably one of the most difficult things that a person can face in their life: the death of a loved one. I've unfortunately lost a lot of loved ones, mostly to prolonged (and not so prolonged) diseases. It is so hard to watch. You want to help out but there is really nothing that you can do but try to make them more comfortable, and even that sometimes doesn't work. This is exactly what Jim, the main character, is going through in the book. His mother is dying and he must watch.

This is a relatively short book (according to Goodreads, it is about 130 pages). While you get the gist of the basic story, I did find myself wishing that we got to see inside the characters heads a little bit. What was going on with Jim's dad? He seemed like a pious man, yet he was sort of terrible to his family, especially to his wife and to Jim, and I didn't feel like we totally got his motivation. I really love to know what makes characters tick, especially when they're sort of mean or off kilter and you really don't get that here.

I enjoyed the writing and the basic story was pretty good and entertaining. I just wish you got more insight into the different family members.

Bottom line: A good read!



  1. Great review, I am glad you enjoyed it despite the lack of character depth.

    1. The story kept me going. I just really like knowing what the specific motivation was for what the characters do.


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