A Memoir of Family
“As nourishing as a three-course Italian feast, this is a fierce, moving tribute to the ties that bind.”—People (Book of the Week)
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Sleepers offers a heartfelt homage to the women who taught him courage, kindness, and the power of storytelling: his mother, his grandmother, and his late wife.
Standing with his children near his grandmother’s grave on a recent trip to Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples, Lorenzo Carcaterra realized how much of his life has been shaped by the women who taught him how to look for joy and overcome sorrow. This book is his tribute to them.
Nonna Maria, his grandmother, gave him his first taste of a loving home during the summers he spent with her as a teenager on Ischia. With her kindness, her humor, and the same formidable strength she employed to make secret trips for food when the Nazis occupied Ischia during World War II, she instilled in him the importance of community, providing shelter for a boy whose home life was difficult.
His mother, Raffaela, dealt with daily hardships: a loveless and abusive marriage, the burden of debt, and a life of dread. Though the lessons she taught were harsh, they would drive Lorenzo from the world they shared to the better one she always prayed he would find.
The third woman is his wife, Susan, a gifted editor and his professional champion. Their marriage lasted three decades before her death from lung cancer in 2013. While their upbringings were wildly different, their love and friendship never wavered—and neither did her faith in Lorenzo’s talent and potential as a writer.