The matriarch of the family, Josephine, opens the book with stories that focus on her siblings, her marriage at fifteen to a much older man, and the births of her seven children, one of whom she gives up for adoption.
I suppose it’s possible the author was using a technique, making the more contemporary stories richer and the older stories more superficial — since memories fade. But I don’t think so.
Since the author’s own family is Italian American, I think it’s more likely she just wasn’t able to capture the depth of the stories she learned second or third hand. Or, maybe she made them all up. Regardless, there are perhaps three gems in this book. But that wasn’t enough to make me love it.