Triskele by Barbara D’Amato – Book Review

Triskele literally means three legs and readers might be intrigued with the knowledge that this word is not explained till the end of the book. In the story named Triskele written by B. D’Amato we find ourselves face to face with some cruel realities this world has to offer. Even though it is written as a fiction, this book is filled with graphic details and demands extreme vigilance and thought while reading. This book revolves majorly around a pair of siblings- Paul and Bethany. It journeys through their experiences in life and how they tend to face situations they never expected to encounter. People who will sit back and take this book up for a read will go through enormous emotions. They will feel sadness overcome them when Bethany takes the stage, compassion when Paul moves through life, accomplishment when Lillian overcomes her problems and a sense of hope as the story line progresses.

The book opens with a very serene setting describing natural surroundings, hence creating a sense of calm for the readers. But it does not take the writer much time to start with dwelling into the serious topics. Where on one side Bethany and Paul are shown happy enjoying their respective pass time activities, the other side soon comes in with Angela, their mother, representing an irresponsible parent. Even though there are moments of happiness they share with their mother, like the inside jokes on cows that Bethany and Angela make or how she took them to the Sunday masses, the bigger picture spreads farther than that. Her absence during crucial times could not be filled at any point. Her treatment of Paul and dependency on him to take care of the younger sibling as well reflects her carelessness as a parent.

Bethany is shown as a passionate little kid who thoroughly enjoys her daily drawing sessions and play time with her brother. She is someone with an imaginative thinking. Through her character, readers can grasp the ferocity of D’Amato’s style of writing. Her character is a symbol of progression. Where she starts off as a dependent child who experiences series of trauma in the form of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse from one foster home to another, through therapy she seeks help and transforms into a better version of herself. Her transition is seen in the chapter where after receiving an academic probation instead of acting out, she reflects on the observation made by her psychologist. Her psychologist asks her not to react on every impulse that courses through her, it is not mandatory to turn impulses into actions. She embraces herself and it is reflected through her art, the author writes that her paintings excuded the essence of Beth. They were enchanting, provocative, and sensual. The masterpiece “Triskele” held people in a visual grip and was bewitching as described by Lillian (Beth’s psychoanalyst) in the story which represented Beth’s character and her social persona.

On one hand we are introduced to the difficult life Bethany had to live before her grandparents took her in, and on the other hand Paul’s life after leaving his mother right as he makes a confession is filled with positive experiences and growth. David and Genevieve helped him during his early age. He learned different sports, excelled in the studies and was keen to study religion like Uncle (Father) Casey. He grew up with an aim to become a Catholic Priest, but his dreams were questioned when he met Lillian. Lillian made him feel happy and seek companionship. Without meaning to, she made him conscious of his feelings in a way that he couldn’t comprehend regarding his childhood memories, and this urged him even more to search for his baby sister Beth. Lillian’s character is that of a strong, resilient woman who believes in the power of healing and maybe it is this quality of hers that attracts people towards her. The book creates a contrast in the character of Lillian from her childhood to adulthood. As a kid she was taught to bottle up her emotions and not let them out at any cost. This is something she changes in her 20s pursuing a path of lending an ear to problems of all. Each character in this book represents a distinct personality in a manner that the reader is bound to connect with one persona or other.

It is seemingly ironical how Paul all his childhood only had one aim of protecting his sister, but life brought with it such fragments that created testing times for Bethany. This shows the reality focused approach writer has included in the writings. A balance is thrown in the story with the help of other characters like Lillian, David, Genevieve, Raymond, and Claudette Corey. These characters act as catalysts to the storyline as they portray instances of joy and sorrow around Beth and Paul. The story is not stationary when it comes to time, and it transitions between old and the present life of two siblings. 

Few criticisms that might come to the readers mind after completing the story would be the inconsistency in the chapter’s length and how the sudden time jumps are prone to creating confusion for the audience. However, the fact that the story evolves with each chapter, it touches different sensitive topics and covers a range of psychosocial issues remains the focus. D’Amato doesn’t shy away from advocating for mental health issues. The story represents theme of resilience, hope, and progression. Although the story is left at a cliff-hanger, it doesn’t take away the message the words are meant to carry. If you are someone who enjoys reading stories that create awareness whilst driving on the road of optimism and faith, this book is a must read.

If you’re looking for a gripping and thought-provoking read, look no further than Triskele by B. D’Amato. This psychological novel takes you on a journey through the lives of three individuals as they grapple with their pasts, their relationships, and their own inner demons. From the idyllic setting of an upstate farm to the gritty streets of 1980s NYC, Triskele is a kaleidoscope of rich settings and complex human desires. With its deep exploration of the human psyche and its themes of emotional wholeness and grace, Triskele is a must-read for anyone seeking a compelling and insightful story. Don’t miss out on this masterpiece of modern literature – order your copy today on Amazon!

Also Read: Barbara D’Amato – interview

Share on:

Aazima is a passionate individual who loves to explore various genres of literature, with psychological thrillers and light comedies being her all-time favorites. When she's not indulging in reading, she enjoys watching cricket, one of her other passions.