Book Review: The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi

Sorana Joseph, Staff Writer

Dolores Gauci is the youngest of six daughters belonging to Mary and Frankie Gauci. We are taken into the life of a Maltese family living in Cardiff, Wales through the eyes of a young Dolores. Her family is falling apart, and at the tender age of five, she witnesses things no child should ever have to. Through her words, her account and a peek into the perspectives of other important characters, we witness the destruction of relationships, fabrication of lies, loss of trust, failing of love, and dissipating veil of innocence and naivety. Dolores didn’t understand any of it at the time, and it plagued her well into her adult life – until thirty years later when she is reunited with her estranged sisters.

Dolores recounts the struggle her mother endured, how her mother strived to protect them, to do everything she could. Yet behind this strong portrayal of mother hood was a shadow of fear and betrayal. In unsparing in detail, Dolores describes her father and the disdain which he brought upon them all, and the sad fact that Dolores’ very existence would not have been so had it been for him.

The Hiding Place is an unsparing and crude depiction of a life crumbling from the foundation. It’s portrayal of real struggles and complex-characters give this the leverage it needs to tug at your heart strings. As you look through Dolores’ eyes you are forced to come to the reality, forced to realize that nothing is ever as it seems. You’ll find yourself clenching your teeth at the decisions made and beating your fists at the catastrophes that could have been prevented. The Hiding Place does an amazing job at capturing life for what it is – sacrifice, struggle, gain, love, and loss. Once you pick up this book, you won’t be able to set it back down, and once you finish it, you may find yourself reading it again.