Taking place in the years around World War I, with all its inherent drama, these stories could have been more emotional. Instead the descriptions sped along, with little opportunity for me to connect with the characters or feel their angst.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.
More about the author, Ann Hood.