“No one looked at her. Papa, Mama, and Maria Elena were busy with their food, but an invisible cord linked them, forming a triangle that left Delia out.” In this endearing novel, Olga Berrocal Essex tells the story of young Delia Pineda’s need to uncover a family secret. She tries to piece together whispered hints from overheard family conversations, like pieces in a puzzle, in an attempt to find “some meaning in her own life.”
Growing up in Panama City in the 1950s, Delia is aware that the strain between her and her domineering older sister, Maria Elena, has something to do with her mother’s past. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, she begins to understand that her mother’s secret is inextricably woven with her sister’s feelings of unworthiness. Delia’s growth is marked by a blossoming compassion for her tormented family and a firm conviction to lead a different life, free from the unspeakable bonds of deception that keep the family together.