Book Talk
Elizabeth Street
Reviewed by- linda (2011/02/13, 05:34 PM)
Set in the early 1900’s, this absorbing story is actually a fictionalized account of the immigration experience of Laurie Fabiano’s great-grandmother. Fabiano writes with force and passion; she develops not simply characters in a book but members of a family and a community. I loved Giovanna - the main focus of the book; she is determined, brave and fiercely proud. The story follows her from her carefree childhood days in Italy to the lower East Side of NY where her strength is repeatedly tested. She and her family struggle to make a life in NY and are forced to live in fear and deal with extortion by the Black Hand, an early version of the Mafia. There are language barriers, problems securing work and discrimination issues. Italians are paid lower wages and work the jobs no one else wants. Laurie Fabiano does a great job of showing that the resilience to overcome these adversities and succeed comes from the indelible influence that neither distance nor time can weaken - strong family bonds. In summary, although too wordy and slow in spots, it’s a wonderful story of courage and triumph that will appeal to those who like Historical Fiction, family sagas, or just enjoy a good story.Back.

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