Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite
Honor in the Blood, by S.H. Montgomery, is the second installment featuring the Savio and Callahan families of Chicago. The two families, united through the marriage of Francesca and Fin, further continue their petty squabbles based on generations of pent-up fear and hatred for the other’s nationality. In this installment, Kane, the first-born of Francesca and Fin, becomes the center of attention of the two warring factions. Ms. Montgomery’s novel follows Kane from birth to young adulthood, with the competing influences of both families attempting to mold him into the person they wish him to be, and his personal struggles in trying to keep both sides happy while finding his own path to maturity during the turbulent Chicago of the '50s and '60s.
I found Ms. Montgomery’s novel an interesting read. Your heart will break for the travails of Francesca in raising a young family in the midst of an abusive marriage, and the ever-present tension between parents and in-laws. Ms. Montgomery also weaves together some of the more important historical events of the era into an intimate portrayal of Chicago during that time period, expertly tying in the younger members of the Savio family with the fortunes of Sam Giancana and a fledgling Las Vegas. And finally, as Kane’s life devolves into an ever-deepening mire of violence, brought on by an abusive alcoholic father on one side, and a Mafia-riddled family on the other, his future boils down to one final decision. One that sets up perfectly the direction for – I assume – a third installment in the lives of these two families.