Monday, August 5, 2013

Forty Years in a Day by Mona Rodriguez & Dianne Vigorito

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Read: August 2, 2013

Confession is good for the soul even after the soul has been claimed... The story begins in Italy, 1900. After years of torment and neglect, Victoria and her four small children immigrate to Hell's Kitchen, New York, to escape her alcoholic, abusive husband. On the day they leave, he tragically dies, but she does not learn of his death for several years—a secret that puts many lives on hold. Quickly, they realize America's streets are not paved with gold, and the limits of human faith and stamina are tested time and time again. Poverty, illness, death, kidnapping, and the reign of organized crime are just some of the crosses they bear. Victoria's eldest son, Vincenzo, is the sole surviving member of the family and shares a gut-wrenching account of their lives with his daughter during a visit to Ellis Island on his ninetieth birthday. He explains how the lives of he and his siblings have been secretly intertwined with an infamous Irish mob boss and ends his unsettling disclosure with a monumental request that leaves Clare speechless. Forty Years in a Day is layered with the struggles and successes of each family member and defines the character of an era. Follow the Montanaro family through several decades, and stand in the shoes of a past generation.

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Drawing inspiration from their own family history, authors Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito, created Forty Years in a Day, the story of the Montanaros and their experience as an immigrant family in the early twentieth century. 

Fictional though it is I love that the foundations of this piece come from something so real and personal to the women who wrote it. Despite having no connection whatsoever to the authors, I felt a real sense of nostalgia emanating from these pages and think the book offers up something very special and rather unique to its readers.

My admiration aside, I will admit to having some difficulty with this piece. The multiple point of views and the rapidity of the story’s timeline made it hard for me to relate to either the characters or their experiences. In finishing the book I found myself wishing the story had incorporated more direction and emotional depth especially when Vincenzo’s final admission comes to light. 

A moving family saga with an incredible and entirely unexpected twist, Forty Years in a Day is a pleasantly emotional story. The format may have left me wanting, but the plot is one of those most creative I’ve ever encountered, debut or otherwise. 

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"We’re going on an adventure.” Victoria kept her voice low and calm.
“America, Vincenzo, to America.”
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Check out all the stops on Mona Rodriguez and dianne vigorito's Forty years in a day virtual book tour

Monday, August 5
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, August 6
Review at Impressions in Ink
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 7
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, August 8
Review at A Book Geek
Friday, August 9
Review & Guest Post at The True Book Addict
Interview at Layered Pages

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