4 out of 4 stars
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The hurtful events of his childhood haunted Bernie Buccellato, the first child of an unhappy marriage that produced three children. At 52 years old, the unending fights between his parents during his childhood and the circumstances of their death kept him in a mental state that therapists couldn’t seem to heal. After a near-death experience that gave him a lifetime fortune, he returned to his childhood hometown of Hialeah, a town in South Florida. His first step toward resolving his grievances was repurchasing his grandmother’s home, where he and his family resided. He entered a real estate agency office and met Miss Yolanda Ruiz, a divorcee. She was determined to work and be successful despite her ex-husband’s moral stand regarding each gender’s societal role. This meeting was entirely divine, owing to Yolanda’s role in helping Bernie buy back the house and their beneficial friendship.
After successfully buying the house, Bernie decided to grant his father’s last wish: to recreate his childhood memories and perhaps find answers to the questions bothering him. His father’s dying wish was that he wanted him to spread the ashes of his dead body at the finishing line of Hialeah Racetrack, where he retired and spent most of his money. Although he didn’t get along well with his father while alive, Bernie felt compelled to grant his father’s wish honourably. Hialeah Racetrack wouldn’t allow the ashes of dead bodies on their track for fear of their horses being hurt and is about to shut down due to financial management. Bernie’s healing and total freedom from every demon tying him to his past are in fulfilling his father’s wish. Will Bernie be free or not? The answer to this question is found in this book titled Running at Hialeah by Donald Marinelli.
I enjoyed reading the book and flowed well with the story. The characters were well developed, and the story’s plot was well conceptualised. Reading through the book, I can feel Bernie’s pain and his struggle for inner peace. Bernie’s story revealed how parents’ actions affect the emotional well-being of their children without them knowing. Ruiz’s childhood experience was different from Bernie’s experience; this difference was evident in how they reasoned and related with others.
The author didn’t rush the story. The story moved at an exciting pace, telling all that needed to be told without boring the readers. I liked how the relationship between Bernie, Yolanda, his neighbours, and colleagues at work grew into a strong bond, helping him on his journey to find peace and healing. More importantly, I enjoyed how the story concluded.
There is nothing I disliked about the story. The author did well in writing this story. The story was easy to relate to; though I haven’t been to a racetrack before, I got the picture from the author’s description. Where languages different from English were used, the author interpreted them with a few exceptions, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.
The book was professionally edited and contained profane words that aligned with the book’s plot. I find this book an exciting read and rate it 4 out of 4 stars because it is well deserving of it.
I recommend this book to adults, parents, counsellors, people suffering from unpleasant childhood experiences, and readers of fiction books.
Running at Hialeah
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