I’m pleased to be participating in the blog tour for Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story by Joe Giordano coordinated by Italy Book Tours.
Title: Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story | Author: Joe Giordano | Publication Date: October 8, 2015 | Publisher: Harvard Square Editions | Pages: 272 | ISBN: 978-1941861080
Synopsis: What turns the gentle mean and the mean brutal? The thirst for wealth? The demand for respect? Vying for a woman? Birds of Passage recalls the Italian immigration experience at the turn of the twentieth-century when New York’s streets were paved with violence and disappointment.
Leonardo Robustelli leaves Naples in 1905 to seek his fortune. Carlo Mazzi committed murder and escaped. Azzura Medina is an American of Italian parents. She’s ambitious but strictly controlled by her mother. Leonardo and Carlo vie for her affection. Azzura, Leonardo, and Carlo confront con men, Tammany Hall politicians, the longshoreman’s union, Camorra clans, Black Hand extortion, and the Tombs prison.
Kirkus review: “With Birds of Passage, Joe Giordano delivers a rollicking, wholly entertaining take on the Italian immigrant story. His rich cast of characters arrives seeking the usual: Money, honor, love, respect, a decent shot at the pursuit of happiness. But things get complicated fast as they plunge into the rough-and-tumble world of rackets, scams, and politics of early 20th-century New York City. Giordano serves up a thick, satisfying slice of the entire era in all its raw and brutal glory.”
Author’s Bio: Joe Giordano was born in Brooklyn. His father and grandparents immigrated to New York from Naples. Joe and his wife, Jane have lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. They now live in Texas with their shih tzu Sophia. Joe’s stories have appeared in more than sixty magazines including Bartleby Snopes, The Newfound Journal, and The Summerset Review. Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
My thoughts: As an avid traveler and self-proclaimed “writer with wanderlust”, I am always on the look out for books that have a strong sense of place. Plus, being of Italian heritage I hold a special place books that give me a new perspective on Italy or Italians. So I was thrilled to join the blog tour as a reviewer for Joe Giordano’s Birds of Passage: An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story.
The book takes readers on a journey from Italy to New York through the eyes of young, ambitious Italians. I really appreciated that these characters and even the back stories of their families, were anything but typical. Yes, there are the ever-intriguing topics of organized crime, love and betrayal, as well as family loyalty, but with new complexities. How loyal do you have to be when your family holds onto Old World traditions? How far does a man go to protect is father’s estate? What makes a person “good” v. “bad” and does a well-intended motive change that?
Through the talented pen of Giordano, readers follow Leonardo Robustelli through the drama of leaving his family behind for the New World to find a better life. I enjoyed the variety of characters in this book – from a not-so-traditional Italian mob leader to an independent Italian-American young woman and from a good man pushed to defend his family to a seemingly evil one protecting a friend. And I absolutely adored the phrases — often in Italian — and details like Italian mannerisms that make this such an authentic read.
Recommended for anyone that enjoys historical fiction, especially Italophiles.
GIVEAWAY: Win 1 of 3 copies of Birds of Passage (print book USA & Canada, ebook international). Click here to enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!
GET YOUR FREE COPY! The Kindle edition of Birds of Passage will be free to download Saturday, November 7th through Wednesday, November 11th. Or if you can’t wait, Birds of Passage is now available on Amazon.