Italian American

Jack & Mariella’s journey continues…

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
347 Pages
Reviewed on 04/13/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Nino Lobiladze for Readers' Favorite

Italian American by Luigina Vecchione, the second book in a series, is a captivating read for fans of historical fiction, family drama, and romance. Mariella leaves her native Italy, which revives after the horrible years of German occupation, and heads with her husband, Jack, to the United States. In America, Mariella faces many difficulties while missing her parents and siblings. Mariella's mother-in-law gives her the cold shoulder, the mean wives of Jack's friends treat her without much respect, and her English is not fluent enough for smooth communication. Jack is not always around, and Mariella can call her family in Rome only for five minutes once a month. But Mariella loves her husband with all her heart and is ready to fight for her happiness.

In Italian American, Luigina Vecchione explores how adaptable a foreigner can be to a completely different environment. Mariella sincerely wants to become a part of her new American family. Her willpower, endurance, and determination inspire us to be more understanding and accepting of those with different cultural backgrounds. Italian American is also a dramatic love story. Mariella and Jack try to build a family in the post-WWII world. Vecchione's keen understanding and precise conveying of the enormous pain brought by the war, which many, including Jack and Mariella, went through, are important in our turbulent times. A heart-wrenching subplot reveals the tragedy of the Holocaust and the fortitude of its survivors. Italian American has a convincing cast of secondary characters, like the nosy Millie, caring Louise, and wise Rabbi Sheridan. This meaningful book gives hope that love, friendship, and mutual support can overcome hatred and intolerance.