Saturday, November 08, 2008
84. "Unto the Daughters" - Karen Tintori
From Sicily to America, the Costa family brought old country traditions and beliefs to Detroit in the early 1900s. The author, Karen Tintori, knew about her grandmother's curses against the evil eye and folk tales about prayers, but she didn't know about the major skeleton in her family's closet: the murder of her great-aunt Frances by her own brothers in an honor killing.
A true story, Tintori digs through her family's records for facts, then writes in a fictional style. While I liked this style of writing, her choice to switch from the past to the "present" seemed awkward and forced at times, like she only wrote that chapter because her editor told her to fill in the information. I would have liked to try it in sequential order because I admired her writing.
An amazing look at Sicilian and early Italian immigrants' lives with the haunting of Frances Costa throughout the book in its imagery and dedication to details.
3.5 out of 5.0 Detroits.
Connected the dots 79 to 80 (Moses led the Hebrews) to 81 (Operation Shylock - where Moses Bellybutton is the "reverse nemesis" of Philip Roth), then to 82 (A Thread of Grace - how Italy helped the Jews during WWII), to 83 (Italian organized crime) to 84 (organized crime with Detroit immigrants).
I'm stuck. When I'm stuck, I look at my leaning tower of books and close my eyes to choose. The game begins anew.