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Jake: A Journey of Self Discovery by [Castagno, Joseph]
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Jake: A Journey of Self Discovery Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 370 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

NEWLY EDITED VERSION NOW AVAILABLE

This story was never intended to be autobiographical, but I believe it is human nature to infuse our experiences, memories, and personality into the things we create. My own story began on a cold winter night in New York City and I was born on a crisp fall evening later that year. It was 1965 and my parents were deeply involved in the New York art scene and studying the Gurdjieff Work an eastern philosophy of self-awareness and achieving a heightened state of consciousness. I don't have a memory of those early years in New York City; I have the pictures, the art gallery posters and the stories, but my memories start later after my parents left the city for the farmland and foothills of northern New Jersey.


Embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, they purchased and cleared land located at the Eastern base of the Kittatinny Mountains in the small northern New Jersey town of Sussex. Rebuilding an old mountain home they started an herb & spice business and a Gurdjieff school. My earliest childhood memories and experiences inhabit this special place and traverse the spectrum from warm and comforting to disconcerting and unnerving. It seemed my experiences were only limited by my imagination and there were very few boundaries on that. I can't begin to explain most of the strange things that happened in those early days, but I am not so arrogant as to think that makes them untrue. There are things in this world that defy logical explanation or stretch the limitsof our adult belief system; however, these are our limitations not theirs. I don't remember a time in my childhood when there weren't a number of students "studying" with my parents, sometimes as many as thirty to forty people.Young full of ideas and questions that I absorbed and pondered from a child's perspective. Self-sufficiency and imagination became early survival skills. As is all too often an unfortunate byproduct of success, my parent's marriage did not last, and so began a journey across this great country as my mother sought a place of refuge and new beginnings. Ultimately she landed in rural South Carolina and set up a new school and base of business at an old indigo plantation, it was 1981, I was fifteen and out of place.

It is the experiences of those years in South Carolina and later as an adult in central Florida that form the basis for many of the characters and the questions that this book and our main character, Jake struggles with: generational prejudice, illegal immigration, and in the end the questions Jake and maybe most of us must answer: Is a man destined to tread the paths of his forefathers? Is he constrained by the indoctrination of his youth? Can he overcome his past, his mistakes, his missed opportunities? And is it ever too late to forge a new existence that embraces the life that could one have been living? 

About the Author

Born in Manhattan in 1965 Joseph Castagno is the son of a second generation Italian American father. His mother's family were mixed heritage people: Indigenous Haudenosaunee, French, and some of the earliest Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. Growing up with such a multicultural heritage provided him with a view of both the immigrant experience, a perspective on the founding principles and ideals of the United States as well as the original teachings and ways of Northeastern Indigenous people. Having lived all over the United States Joseph has a broad perspective on US society and the variety of social values and customs that make up this great country. He currently resides in Florida with his wife Tammy, having raised four children they are now enjoying their first grandchild. Having always had a passion for reading and writing he has published a number of articles in local papers and magazines. After a long career in healthcare he has published his first novel "Jake" drawing on his experiences and observations living in the Southeast and Florida. He is currently working on his next novel and spoiling his granddaughter!

Product details

  • File Size: 2475 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1532864442
  • Publisher: Joseph Castagno; 1 edition (April 24, 2016)
  • Publication Date: April 24, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01EIEWDFI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,159,642 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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