by Olga Berrocal Essex
Published: June 30, 1998
Bind: Trade Paperback
“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.
“A quintessential coming-of-age novel…a haunting tale of sibling rivalry.” —Booklist
OLGA BERROCAL ESSEX was born and reared in Panama City, Panama. She is a graduate of the Instituto Pan-Americano, received an Associate of Arts degree in Drama and Literature from the Institute of Fine Arts and an undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Panama. She was a professional actress in Panama’s National Theatre and appeared in many plays and poetry readings in the theatre and other venues, including her own weekly radio program in Panama City. Essex’s writing career began as an arts reviewer and feature writer for daily newspapers in Panama City.
Essex and her husband Jack met in Panama and married there. They continue to live in California, where they enjoy their four grown children and grandchildren.