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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For? by Alba Castillo, Alba always knew that she was the black sheep of her family, while growing up in the small village of Santa Ynez, close to Madrid. She always knew that her life would be different to those of her siblings, who dreamt of getting married and raising a family in the village. As soon as Alba turned 18 years old, she left for England and this is where her journey begins. Alba met her first husband in England and although happy, the union was short-lived. Alba wanted to feel that rush of love and excitement which she found in her next two relationships. However, the men were not all they seemed, and hidden beneath the charm was a dark side, that included physical and mental torture and rape. She found an escape route from the painful reality of her life through alcohol and cocaine. When she met Peter, Alba believed that he would be the one person to love her, but the happiness soon turned to psychological torture. Then she discovered she had cancer. Alba continued her battle to provide for her children, and always found a way to make their lives as normal as possible. She never expected that while she was fighting cancer, there would be a traumatic custody battle, and the shocking news that one of her children was being abused. This gripping true story will inspire you to be the strongest and best version of your self.
This book is written with a brutal honesty that will make you ask the question, ‘Will this woman ever be given a break?’ I thought Alba described each event with such vividness that you felt you were living the experience with her. Although her life became one of emotional and mental abuse, she kept striving and pushing forward, even when all the odds were against her, and this is admirable. The section concerning her cancer treatment and the custody battle for her youngest daughter affected me the most. Throughout the book, Alba does not complain or wallow in self-pity, and that is why this book is so special. You will discover the strength of the human character, and when she had no one to turn to and nowhere to go, Alba always found a way to provide for her children. A true inspiration to us all. My favourite quote from the book is, ‘Life does not have to be complicated,’ which is very true. Highly recommended.
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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Intense and gut-wrenching, Alba Castillo’s memoir, Malice Intent: Is Love Worth Dying For?, presents the experiences of a Spanish woman whose fight for survival is inspiring. At a young age, Alba was always a dreamer, quite restless and with a thrill for adventure. She dreamed of what life would be like beyond her small hometown of Santa Ynez, Spain. Her dream came true one day. She finally got the opportunity to leave her home behind and go to Madrid and then to London. But life there was not exactly what she had imagined and soon enough she was back to searching for a place to call home. Her life would turn out to be a journey in which she would have to battle domestic violence, drug addiction, four bouts of cancer, the loss of a daughter to a self-seeking man, and unfathomable emotional pain.
Malice Intent’s narrative is laced with many lessons and invaluable advice. Alba Castillo balances emotional provocation and the narration of scenes. She articulates the purpose of the book impressively. Along the way, Alba’s grit in the midst of her mistakes became the source of hope for me that, despite everything, she would still pull through. Malice Intent’s pace is steady and this is achieved by the compactness of the narrative. Alba’s perspective is also clearly expressed. Writing is free flowing, with a peek at the present covered in the epilogue. In the background, the story sheds light on the struggles of single parenthood, drug addiction, illness and the torment of domestic abuse.