|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
When readers first meet Giovanna Costa, the protagonist of Elizabeth Street, she is a young woman about to get married in the small Italian fishing village of Scilla, situated between the Calabrian coast and Sicily’s Aeolian Islands. The town is home to the ancient story of Scylla, the once beautiful nymph turned mythical monster that devoured sailors trying to navigate the Straits of Messina. Midway through Laurie Fabiano’s page-turning novel, which is based on her own family history, Giovanna has landed in the New World but finds herself lodged between Scylla and Charybdis. She arrives grief stricken in New York after her beloved husband, Nunzio, has been killed on a badly managed construction site in Brooklyn. Eventually she will settle into an arranged second marriage, but her troubles continue to multiply. Giovanna will be forced to combat the nefarious forces of the Black Hand, the precursor to the Italian-American Mafia, which has threatened to tear apart her new family.
Supporting herself in New York first as a midwife, Giovanna teams up with a woman doctor from northern Italy. The two become close friends and the doctor shares medical knowledge that Giovanna will combine with her holistic midwifery skills. But Giovanna’s fate changes after deciding to open a small fruit and vegetable market with her new husband. The store is an easy source of potential revenue for criminals offering "protection services," and soon Giovanna’s family becomes their prey. With the same mix of disciplined study and the pinch of southern Italian mysticism that she applied to midwifery, Giovanna will take on the ruthless organized crime syndicate that has kidnapped her daughter and murdered the police lieutenant assigned to protect the neighborhood.
Mario Puzo once claimed, years after writing The Godfather, that he had based the infamous character of Don Corleone on his mother. Fabiano has created in Elizabeth Street a southern Italian heroine fighting those criminal forces that have long victimized poor and vulnerable immigrants. In this multigenerational, well-researched tale, the reader also learns interesting details of the common struggles facing southern Europeans coming to America--how, for instance, Ellis Island inspectors were instructed to mark northern and southern Italians as two separate races; and how the wages for common laborers in parts of the country were divided into three categories, the highest salary paid to "whites," the middle scale for "coloreds," and the lowest amount to "Italians."
Elizabeth Street is both a fascinating immigrant story and an intimate portrait of how a first-generation American--and the author’s own great-grandmother--outwits one of the most brutal crime organizations of the early 20th century. --Maria Laurino
This is an inspiring story of strong women. One of the very rare, really great books that it has been a pleasure to read. It is a bucket list must read.Published 4 hours ago by Kristine S.S.
Very readable book about Italian immigrants at the beginning of the twentieth century. Little bit of history for the descendants of those who came to America for a better life.Published 6 hours ago by Vincent D'Angelo
I could almost hear the music of the Godfather in the background as I read this vividly described story of Italian immigrants in the Little Italy section of New York in the early... Read morePublished 17 hours ago by J Stanley
I really hated to finish this book. The characters became my friends. The imagery left me wishing I could walk the streets of 1900 New York city. Read morePublished 1 day ago by SheShe
I am a non-fiction reader and chose this novel for the history. I learned things I had not known. A solid read.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
Since I had recently been on a food tour of the Elizabeth Street, neighborhood I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Anyone interested in NYC history would enjoy it.Published 1 day ago by Marjorie E. Dinnerman
The strength and perseverance of this family, especially the mother, indicates how these people and others like them built this country.Published 1 day ago by Rose Pardoe
Great book. Really enjoyed the warmth and heartache of Giovanna. Hope to read more by this author.
Please let us know of any new releases.
I very seldom read fictional books the title reminded me of my neighborhood street in Chicago.so was interested in hearing something about Elizabeth street in New York.. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kindle Customer