3âï¸ My problem with this book is the way it‘s being told. Its first half is just like a collection of snippets from childhood, and I almost lost my interest. The second half is much better with stories flowing instead of the stop and go approach used at the start. In the hand of Emile Zola, this story of a child living with abusive parents would have been a jaw-dropping page turner. Alas, Valles is not Zola.