of sentimental value

Fumi Hancock
Princess in Suburbia (2014)
ISBN 9780990584803
Reviewed by Christine Watson for Reader Views (12/14)

“Of Sentimental Value” by Fumi Hancock is a novel about a young woman from Africa named Siberia, who comes to the United States in hopes of fulfilling her dream of becoming a famous author. While her family is still in Africa, Siberia struggles to make it in America. This independent young woman has many challenges to overcome, including financial battles, family health struggles, and nosy neighbors. 

I enjoyed being with Siberia on her journey towards independence and success. She is a likeable character who is charming as well as feisty. While the story is interesting, I thought there was an excessive amount of dialogue where the characters were arguing. I found myself getting frustrated with all the arguing, which I think took away from the story. There was so much dialogue that the book read more like a script than a novel at some parts. Since this book was made into a movie, it may have been the intention of the author to create a lot of dialogue. Another distraction was the grammatical errors throughout the book. 

The author brings to life many of the characters in the book. There are several of Siberia’s family members introduced, each with a distinct personality. Siberia also has neighbors who are overbearing and nosy, love interests who are handsome and strong, along with a hero who provides Siberia with a source of inspiration and hope. 

I recommend “Of Sentimental Value” by Fumi Hancock to anyone looking for a story about triumph over struggle. Readers will be inspired by the story of Siberia and her journey towards achieving her dream of becoming a successful writer.


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