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They Who Do Not Grieve

By Sia Figiel
They Who Do Not Grieve by Sia Figiel digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

Sia Figiel's powerful, poetic skills weave together the voices of three generations of women from two Samoan families. Their dream worlds and realities intermingle, just as the histories of each generation run through the next. At the center of the novel is the Samoan woman's tattoo, the malu , believed to be brought from Fiji by Siamese twins. The ghosts of the twins watch over the women whose lives are stained by an unfinished tattoo. The shame and grief of not completing the tattoo ceremony go hand in hand with the shame and grief of illicit love and broken promises.

9 Reviews

Thinking Face
Diverse charactersDescriptive writingUnpredictableDark settingDarkUnengaging charactersUnsatisfying plot
Loudly Crying Face“This book was a tough one. After the first book I considered to dnf, because I was so confused the whole time, but I wanted to pull through for the club and I'm glad that I did. The themes are pretty interesting and the writing style was beautiful, but very poetic and hard to follow. I think I missed a lot of the meaning. Neverthelessl I learned about Samoa through this story and I felt sad for the women.”
Beautifully writtenDarkHeartbreakingAbuseMisogynyRacismViolence
Anxious Face with sweat“A beautiful, poetic language, but not really a book for me. The feeling of despair was strong through the book and I don't like parts when you don't know what is real or not. A lot of characters as well, but I got a good feel for Samoa as a country. Even if there is probably more positive depictions than this, I still got a much better knowing of the country, so even if the book was not my favourite I am still glad I read it.”
Anxious Face with sweat“This one was tough. It was tough to get through, and also tough to connect with. The writing often felt inaccessible to me, as someone unfamiliar with Samoan culture and symbolism, but that would have been fine I think, it if weren’t for the subject matter. This book is drenched in sadness, every character suffers in every single chapter, with no lighter moments. Although there was often beautiful and inventive turns of phase, overall it just wasn’t for me.”
Diverse charactersOriginal writingDarkAbuseViolence
Anxious Face with sweat“I found this a really tough read. The content was disturbing in so many different ways. I found the characters were sometimes depicted as caricatures, but there were also so many across the novel that it was so hard to keep track of who was who and how they were important to the other characters. While I think there were many interesting themes, I found it hard to follow and maintain cohesion across the stories. It's a shame because I do think the author has a way with words. I'd like to read some similar work and see if this style is indicative of Samoan literature or stylistic to the author herself.”

About Sia Figiel

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