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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Diary of Giovanni Vener: An Immigrant's Journey to the Heart of America is a work of fiction based on real historical facts and circumstances, and was penned by author Michael Pedretti. Continuing a series of stories that chronicle the incredible origins of the town of Genoa, Wisconsin, and where its original people came from, we return to another tale of an Italian traveling to America to seek a better life. This time it’s John Vener, also known as Giovanni, who we find in an asylum as he recounts the events of his life that led him there. What results is a tale of the trials of immigration at the turn of the 19th century and the tragedies that sometimes befall us in life.
This was a surprising and heartfelt take on the origins of the families living in Genoa, Wisconsin. Despite having read much of the author’s well-researched works before, this one really touched my heart with all its passion and tragic remembrances from the perspective of its lead character. The bond between Giovanni and his deceased wife Maddie remains strong, and the poignancy of their love and the effect her death has on the man speaks volumes through author Michael Pedretti’s talented weaving of words. The emotional sensibility of the story mixes with incredible true facts about the experience of life during such a fascinating time, making for a fully rounded historical novel that has everything a reader could want. Overall, Diary of Giovanni Vener is a highly recommended read.