Monday, February 21, 2011

The House of Six Doors

The House of Six Doors
Author: Patricia Selbert
ISBN: 978-0-578-06440-6
Publisher: Publishing by the Seas
Source: Book Sparks PR Blog Tour
Purchase: The House of Six Doors

Synopsis {From Cover}

Thirteen-year-old Serena is torn from everything that’s familiar on her island home. She leaves her beloved grandmother, her father, and two of her siblings to move with her mother and older sister to Florida and then to California.

“Everything will be better in America,” her mother tells her. They arrive in the US to find nothing as they expected. Speaking fluent Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu (the language of her home Caribbean island of Curacao), but limited English, Serena learns to pretend that everything’s fine while struggling to live up to her mother’s impossibly high expectations; always afraid to send her mother into another downward spiral of depression. She juggles responsibility for her mother’s well-being with school, a secret boyfriend, and a growing desire for independence, in a foreign land: Hollywood.

The wisdom of her grandmother, a mixed-race mystic, gives her solace, which she clings to tenaciously despite the thousands of miles between them. Coming of age in a foreign land, faced with enormous obstacles, Serena finds her own feet and the acceptance that sets her free.

My Thoughts

The house of six doors left me in awe. Ms. Selbert weaves a tale full of many emotions that I was not prepared to encounter. Serena’s story is raw and honest and truly poignant. The book has many emotional undercurrents that bring the story to life and draw the reader into its reality. I was compelled to keep reading the novel even though, at times, I had to put it down. The mother in this story irked me until the end. Because of her daughter’s fair outlook however, I was left with compassion and understanding for the mother, though I would not change my many opinions about her.

One of the key storylines of this book is immigration. Serena’s mother moves her and her sister to the U.S. from Curacao. The story honestly conveys the difficulties of transplanting the life you’ve always known to foreign soil. I was awakened to all the minor details of immigration that would be difficult for those who attempt to move to anew country. This aspect of the book is more emotional because it is told through Serena’s eyes, a child who is slowly turning into a young woman. The story had a steady pace. I never felt dragging moments while reading it. The story was told in the present but reflected on past memories by alternating between the two. This gave the book an unique quality as it entertained me with Serena’s two vivid worlds.

Overall, this was an eye opening novel. It gave me lots to think about while reading it. There are many sweet aspects of this book in addition to the more difficult parts of the story. It was a well rounded, interesting look at the life of one 13 year old girl who tries to cope in a new world while making herself someone her mother and family can be proud of. In the process she learns key life lessons that mod her into someone she can be proud of. I would recommend this novel.

About the Author

Author Patricia Selbert is an experienced lecturer and multicultural novelist. With a BA in communications Patricia speaks Dutch, Spanish, Papiamentu and English.

“I was born to Dutch parents in the jungles of Venezuela. I grew up in Curacao, a Dutch island in the Caribbean. I moved to the United States in the seventies. I currently live in Santa Barbara, a picturesque town on the Central Coast of California cradled between the Pacific Ocean to the south and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north.”

Patricia’s Caribbean heritage has infused her with a passion for bright colors, delicious flavors, and the sea.

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1 comment:

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