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Elizabeth Street Paperback – International Edition, October 4, 2011
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In Elizabeth Street, Laurie Fabiano tells a remarkable, and previously unheard, story of the Italian immigrant experience at the start of the twentieth century. With stories culled from her own family history, Fabiano paints an entrancing portrait of Giovanna Costa, who, reeling from personal tragedies, tries to make a new life in a new world. Shot through with the smells and sights of Scilla, Italy, and New Yorkâs burgeoning Little Italy, this intoxicating story follows Giovanna as she finds companionship, celebrates the birth of a baby girl, takes pride in a growing business, and feels a sense of belonging during a family outing to Coney Island.
However, these modest successes are rewarded with the attention of the notorious Black Hand, a gang of brutal extortionists led by Lupo the Wolf. As the stakes grow higher, Giovanna desperately struggles to remain outside the fray, so she may fight forâand finally saveâwhat is important above all else: family.
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My family also started out in Little Italy. My Dad the youngest of 9. Now the family is spread out from New York to California. I rarely see the cousins I grew up so close to. Fabiano makes me nostalgic for the noisy family gatherings and stories of the "old days".
What a remarkable Big Nanna she had! I am so glad she wrote this book. Intricately woven, she kept the story moving and exciting. It is well-written and cohesive. A vivid story not just a collection of memories.
The setting for this story is extremely realistic as we learn about the way of life in the Italian community in New York which includes police and political corruption and the horror of the Black Hand gang who kidnaps Giovanna's young daughter.
The book is fast paced and an easy read and it certainly tells a story worth telling. There were not many surprises for me, however, because I have heard many of these immigrant stories before. This doesn't stop me from recommending the book as a testament to the immigrant experience during this particular time in history.