Who Am I
Literature can be a powerful tool for delving deep into hot button issues and writer J.R Penna tackles a variety of highly contentious issues with true depth with the novel Who Am I.
The story’s main characters are Rita and Rosa, who are dealing with an unexpected pregnancy. The focus does not just stay on how two very different women handle the same situation; the main storyline of Who Am I is the repercussions of religious dogma and hate-filled activism.
Penna’s disdain for a certain religious views can not be missed, however, his writing is not just to strike down those with a narrow view of right and wrong, he also offers in-depth thoughts of depression, family values, family relationships and controversial rhetoric about Jesus and the Bible.
Rita and Rosa’s stories are both compelling and layered and as a reader, I root for both of them. But, there are some curveballs in this telling. Some of Rit’as development is more than a little jarring, although I enjoyed the end of her story.
Where I felt the story lost its glamour is in the narrative and writing style. While Penna pens some very thoughtful and insightful prose, there are pages and pages of dialogue that is only about religious views and what is wrong with conventional faith. It seemed like every person was anxious to have a deep physiological discussion when meeting someone.
For a story that offers a lot of thought on deeply complex issues like depression, and accepting yourself, the plot gets lost in a less than natural tone. Rita wastes no time telling anyone her personal issues in any situation. Rosa is a young teen who, initially comes across as a naive girl, but later delivers long paragraphs of philosophical conundrums like a theological professor.
That being said, Who Am I offers some very interesting and thoughtful ideas and points of view that should not be dismissed.
Pages: 247 | ASIN: B07X4ZBZ36