Book Review: SECRETS OF WORRY DOLLS by Amy Impellizzeri 4


Secrets of Worry Dolls

by Amy Impellizzeri

Add to Goodreads badge



Barnes & Noble

Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing (December 1, 2016)


According to Mayan tradition, if you whisper your troubles to the Worry Dolls, they will do the worrying instead of you–therefore, it follows that Worry Dolls are the keepers of a great many secrets . . .

On the eve of the end of the world–according to the Mayan calendar–Mari Guarez Roselli’s secrets are being unraveled by her daughter, Lu.

Lu’s worry dolls are at capacity as she tries to outrun the ghosts from her past–including loved ones stolen on 9/11–by traveling through her mother’s homeland of Guatemala, to discover the painful reasons behind her own dysfunctional childhood, and why she must trust in the magic of the legend.


Early Praise for Secrets of Worry Dolls (Wyatt-MacKenzie, 2016):

“Spanning decades and continents, Secrets of Worry Dolls is a heartbreaking story about the ripple effect of our choices and the sometimes tragic consequence of survival. Mari and Lu will capture your imagination and your heart, and with Impellizzeri’s signature magical touch, keep you flipping pages well into the night.”–Kate Moretti, New York Times best-selling author of The Vanishing Year
“A truly original book – told with grace and style. Lu and Mari are vivid characters whose intertwining stories will move and surprise you.”
–Sarah Pekkanen, Internationally best-selling author of The Opposite of Me“
In Secrets of Worry Dolls, masterful storyteller Amy Impellizzeri interweaves the tales of Mari and Lu to create an unforgettable, tender portrayal of mother – daughter relationships, love, and hope.”–Cynthia Swanson, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of The Bookseller: A Novel

.“With heart, humor and her signature touch of magic, Amy Impellizzeri brings to life the tale of a mother and daughter each facing all together extraordinary circumstances. Secrets of Worry Dolls will make you laugh, cry, and, in the end, leave you completely spellbound. It is easily one of my favorite books of the year!”—Kristy Woodson Harvey, best-selling author of Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love


Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble



My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:


Missed chances, secrets and regrets. When the end of the world does arrive, that’s all that will be left. And cockroaches, of course.


I switched my major 8 times in college… my college advisor said that I had ‘broken the record for indecisiveness among co-eds.’   I thanked him before I realized he wasn’t actually proud of me.


I felt grateful and relieved and hopeful and confused and sad. Which is kind of the story of my life.


I hate that no one would describe me as strong anymore. I’m so disappointed in myself – people just meeting me now would describe me as frail – I’m sure of it.   And I wouldn’t be arrogant enough to disagree with them. They would be right. But my question is: When did I become frail? When did I stop being an orchid – beautiful and hearty and rare? When was that moment?


We never really had a chance – my mother and I.   It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t hers either… Losing her isn’t the hard part.   The hard part is knowing now why, and not being able to tell her I forgive her.


My Review:


I vacillated in deciding how to rate this intense and complicated story as, at times, the characters frustrated and greatly annoyed me, yet I still cared about them and remained invested and interested in their tale. I delayed in writing a review – something I seldom do, to process the complex piece in total. After considering the consistent superior quality of the writing, I determined this work more than deserved a full set of five shiny stars. Ms. Impellizzeri’s writing was relevant, highly emotive, and vividly descriptive.   She placed me securely in their heads… I was right there with them – seeing what they saw, feeling heavy with their anxiety, and gripped with their tension. Written from a dual POV of a mother and daughter with a difficult relationship and rocky family history, the story was laced with their inner musings, fears, dreads, regrets, guilt, and sorrowful memories. The narrative moved back and forth in time over 30 years as they each mined their histories, and I relished how the characters would suddenly gain a surprising insight from an observantly detailed memory that generally came unbidden. Both characters lived in a state of chronic anxiety and regret, yet they seldom spoke or acknowledged this with each other. Both were prone to pull to the negative, quick to jump to the worst-case scenario and then be practically immobilized and overcome with irrational panic. The plot was as complex as the characters with many twists and turns and blind alleys, but the ending was such a surprise and the relief brought a smile to my face, if only life events really did work themselves out that well. Amy Impellizzeri has been added to my ever growing list of uber-talented authors to follow.


Empress DJ signature


amyheadshot2016About Amy Impellizzeri

Amy is a reformed corporate litigator, founder of SHORTCUTS Magazine, and award-winning author. Her first novel, Lemongrass Hope (Wyatt-MacKenzie 2014) , was a 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Bronze Winner and a National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist. A favorite with bloggers and book clubs, Lemongrass Hope was named the #1 reviewed book in 2014 by blogger, The Literary Connoisseur, and topped several bloggers’ “Best of” Lists in 2015. Amy’s second novel, Secrets of Worry Dolls is releasing December 1, 2016 by Wyatt-MacKenzie.

Amy is also the author of the non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted(ABA Publishing 2015). She is a proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers and President of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association. Amy currently lives in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and one energetic weimaraner, where she keeps up on all of the latest research confirming that caffeine is, in fact, good for you.

Connect with Amy

Website | Twitter


4 thoughts on “Book Review: SECRETS OF WORRY DOLLS by Amy Impellizzeri

  1. Reply Lulu Dec 16,2016 5:12 am

    I think it always says a lot about an author if you can feel the full gamut for characters, means they did a great job creating someone well rounded!

  2. Reply Angel Leafr M Tayup Dec 16,2016 7:57 am

    I love the complex plots, the book sounds great. Very good review.

  3. Reply Caroline Dec 16,2016 5:04 pm

    This one sounds confusing! But I love that the author was able to make you feel so much. That’s true talent.

  4. Reply Heather J. @ TLC Dec 17,2016 8:14 am

    I love how all the elements come together to create such a satisfying ending! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Share your Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: