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26 October 2009

Silk Flowers Never Die: A Book Tour and Review

Title: Silk Flowers Never Die
Author: Stella Mazzucchelli
Publisher: Dynasty Press Limited
Publication Date: October 20, 2009
Paperback: 404 pages
Genre: Memoir


About the Book:

Silk Flowers Never Die is an important and intensely personal memoir, powerfully showing with humanity and humor, the difficulties that exist for any family trying to cope with schizophrenia and mental distress. In a compelling story that reveals how much stranger than fiction fact is, Stella Mazzucchelli describes her determination to preserve her son from the worst effects of mental illness, while his young wife is dying of cancer.

In the process of trying to rise to these challenges, Stella is transformed from a beautiful, over-protected Society woman with alcohol issues, to an impressive, courageous earth-mother who now campaigns to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness by using her privileged position to positive effect. This moving book is informative on a host of subjects, ranging from the lifestyle of the International Super-Rich to the profundities of facing terminal illness and mental disease. Due to its intelligence, insight, and compassion the appeal of this amazing story and struggle should be universal.

My review:

Silk Flowers Never Die is a poignant memoir of a mother's love and the strength that comes not just from a mother's love for her child, but love that transcends blood, generations, and cultures. Stella's son Fedele is diagnosed with schizophrenia in his 20s, and Stella finds herself the primary caretaker of her son as he battles this disease and again finds herself has a primary caretaker to Fedele's young bride, who a week after delivering their first child, is diagnosed with terminal cancer. As Stella tells about this time, the best and worst in her life, she neither portrays herself as a saint nor does she wallow in her personal struggles. Rather she writes about the kindness and love from others throughout the world that give her strength and hope to continue on even when she does not think she can continue. Interwoven throughout the story are flashbacks to her younger years, her travels, and her marriage. Silk Flowers Never Dies, is written so beautifully and at times it is almost painful to read, as one cannot escape the deepest levels of sadness and despair that engulf their lives. Yet, Stella does not dwell for long in too much sadness, she has an amasing ability to find something positive and often funny in the direst of situations. Silk Flowers Never Die, is a deeply moving book, which needs to be slowly read and digested. I am very glad I read this novel, for without it; I would have missed some valuable lessons about humanity. I would not hesitate to recommend this novel, but would caution, it can at times be an extremely emotional read, yet well worth the tears that one may shed.

About the Author:

Stella Metaxa Mazzucchelli was born in Athens, Greece and married, aged eighteen, Riccardo Mazzucchelli, the famous Italian businessman. During their twenty two year marriage, they lived in Zambia and London, where she became a well-known figure on the social scene, and had a brief and successful modelling career at the unusual age of 28. Fedele is their only child. After their divorce, Riccardo married Ivana Trump in 1995, though the marriage was short lived. Stella now lives in Athens where she brings up her grand-daughter Katerina. As well as being involved in the property and renovation business, which ensures she maintains connections with London, she is also a tireless campaigner for the better understanding of schizophrenia and mental illness. Silk Flowers Never Die is her first book.

Visit the Virtual Book Tour of Silk Flowers Never Die by Stella Mazzucchelli here.

I received a copy of Silk Flowers Never Die by Stella Mazzucchelli from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



LiveLaughLoveCj said...

This is a book that I feel I must read for many personal reasons.

Thank you for the wonderful review (as always) and bringing this to all of our attentions.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for hosting Stella today. I have a copy of this book here, but haven't had time to read it. After the reviews it's getting, I sure hope I can make time for it soon.

Thanks again.


MarthaE said...

I wondered about this book. Your review seems to capture its beauty and painful emotion. Thanks.

Cym Lowell said...

Your review was captivating and heart felt. Thank you for linking this review, it was meant for me to read.


Allison said...

Amazing review...very heart felt!!