My Family and Other Skaters



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Product Details

Product Code:
0.63 (in)
Size (HxW):
8.25 x 5.56 (in)
7.92 oz
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Product Overview

With both realism and humor, this compelling and heartwarming novel describes, in first-person narrative, the joys and the challenges of a modern English family.

They are unique in many ways—for one thing, all of the six children are competitive figure skaters, and for another, they have a pet alpaca. Yet, they weather the storms of life with the same, sometimes clumsy attempts at patience and understanding found in most families.


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  • 5
    Joy of everyday life

    Posted by Roger Thomas on Mar 27th 2024

    I’ve long admired writers like L.M. Montgomery and Jan Karon for their ability to describe what I call the Adventure of Everyday Life. In their writing about ordinary people in everyday life circumstances, they’re able to unveil the reality that there are no ordinary people, and everyday life offers opportunities for us all to respond well or poorly to the chance to grow in grace and charity. Novelist Fiorella de Maria can be added to that list with her newest novel My Family and Other Skaters. Though released as a work for youth, this story can be enjoyed by all ages, and especially by those who appreciate the Adventure of Everyday Life. de Maria is an experienced novelist who has written in a variety of genres. She’s no stranger to stories with sober, even heavy themes. This is her first foray into youth fiction, and in the judgment of this fellow author, it’s a smashing success. The protagonist is Rosaria, or Rose (though occasionally known to friends and siblings as “Rosie Rose!”), who is eleven and lives in a ramshackle mansion with her parents, five siblings, a St. Bernard, a pet alpaca named Paddington (yes, there’s a story there), and a yard full of chickens. The most important thing about the house is that it’s a two minute walk to the town ice rink, because the whole family is deeply into – and I mean deeply into – figure skating. Rosaria caught the skating bug from watching a Torvil and Dean performance, and proceeded to infect the entire family, from her older brother Hugo down to her three-year-old twin sisters. Skating and rink life are the activity center of this bustling family, though the bustle is only made possible by the rock-solid foundation of faith and family commitment, which is low-key and understated. There’s no Big Plot to the story, in the sense of major crises or dramatic life upheavals. What occur are a series of what some might call minor incidents, such as when the family of Rose’s good friend Giuliana, who is also Hugo’s skating partner, decide to move back to Italy. Or when Rose’s mother decides to leverage her kitchen skills and proximity to the rink to open a cottage industry catering to hungry skating parents. Or when a homeless veteran needs a place for Christmas dinner. What happens is ordinary life, viewed through the eyes of a vivacious, effervescent eleven year old who love skating, her family, and pretty much everything else. What’s so charming is that de Maria brings the reader into the center of all that everyday richness, so you can live it alongside Rose, her friends, and her family. In a world that’s getting jaded with the antics of even superheroes (“No, we’re not just saving the world! This time...this time we’re saving the entire universe! Really!”), we need stories that restore our perspective. Authors and screenwriters are trying to provide the next Jack Reacher or John Wick, but I think we need someone who can bring out the adventure provided by a snow day. de Maria delivers this in a refreshing and wholesome story that is well written while avoiding simple sentimentality. My only dispute is that the story is offered as being for youth. While I’ll be certain to order copies for my granddaughters, I contend that anyone who loves to visit places like Avonlea and Mitford will love Skaters as well. As an author myself, it’s always delightful to see another author strike a rich creative vein, one that brings out their artistic best. For all de Maria’s prior accomplishments, I think My Family and Other Skaters shows her at her finest. I can only hope that this is the first in a string of stories about Rosaria and her wonderful family.