Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Book Review: Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra

Etched in Sand is the story of five siblings who are raised with unthinkable abuse and neglect, and overcome their incredibly difficult life circumstances to become successful adults.  The author is the middle daughter who, along with her two older sisters, takes responsibility for raising her younger siblings and trying to hold her family together.  The book chronicles their time in and out of foster care and through homelessness and abuse.  Calcaterra is now a successful lawyer, politician, and activist in New York City.

I was impressed with Calcaterra as an author.  She had huge obstacles to overcome, including an inconsistent education throughout her childhood, but she worked hard and has clearly achieved a great deal both academically and in her career, including her writing.

Entertainment Value
Calcaterra's story is horrifying and very hard to read.  Her mother is alternately neglectful and abusive, and those scenes can be very hard to read.  That said, the story is also compelling and inspiring. The author and her siblings all come so far in rebuilding their lives.

It's a hard story to read, and not for those who are easily disturbed by scenes of child abuse and neglect.  Horrible things happen to Calcaterra and her siblings and it's very hard to read.  However, the way that the author overcomes those events is so inspiring and impressive that it was worth reading the hard parts.  I recommend it.

Thank you to TLC for including me on the tour!


  1. I was part of the tour too :-)

    I liked reading a story about child abuse with a happy ending.

  2. I haven't read the book yet, but it's nice to hear stories where someone dealt with something horrible and yet doesn't feel like a victim or that they're who they are because of what happened. I tell myself that I'm who I am IN SPITE of how my mom treated me, and I think that perspective makes all the difference in the world. I'm really inspired by people like this author!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. I also read this book as part of TLC and absolutely loved every minute of it. I mean, I didn't love it in that it made me happy, but I loved it in that I read it through in one sitting and it left me inspired and with a renewed purpose. I'm also super lucky to be able to give away a copy of it because it sold out within 4 days on Amazon!