Summary: Klara Bozic raises three children and, though she fled domestic violence from her father in her native Croatia in 1883, lives daily with physical violence from her husband Drago in her new home in the steel mill town of Thirsty, just outside of Pittsburgh.
Klara's daughter grows up and also marries an abusive man, continuing the cycle of violence in the family. She is haunted by dreams in which she takes revenge. What Klara endures and how she pulls herself and her daughter out of the cycle to find some measure of peace and stability is the theme of the novel.
Well written, fluid prose, well developed characters. Thirsty shows the effects of domestic abuse on individuals and the family, as well as gives a view of the hardship of life for families dependent on the Pennsylvania steel mill industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
I give a lot of credit to the author for addressing the topics in her well written novel, making more people aware of domestic violence and the cycle it creates.
Author Kristin Bair O'Keeffe wrote a complete draft of this book as her thesis for her MFA in Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Her book is based on her own experiences and observations of life in a working class community in a steel mill town. Watch for an interview with the author which will be posted this month.
Thirsty: The Novel was published 2009 by Swallow Press. More information is available at http://www.thirstythenovel.com/
Source: ARC from Phenix & Phenix
Challenge: 100+ Reading Challenge