by Juliet Graemes
This book follows the journey of Stella Fortuna (the second one) from her remote Italian village to America. Told from the perspective of her granddaughter as Stella is about to turn 100, this saga covers the story of the marriage of Stella’s parents, Assunta and Antonio, the births, lives, deaths (and near-deaths) of their family, and most of all, the decades-long feud between Stella and her sister Tina. It is hard to imagine the difficulties Stella, a very independent woman, faced as part of a traditional Italian family newly immigrated to Connecticut just as World War II was beginning. Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring, and kept me up way too late at night reading. Juliet Graemes truly brought these fictional characters to life to the point where I could almost taste the meatballs that Tina’s great-niece is clearly rolling incorrectly as Aunt Tina fills her in on the family history.