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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Life's Curves: When the Present Triggers the Past by Celia A. Milano is a non-fiction memoir that chronicles the multi-faceted life of Francesca “Fran” Brizzi from her youth through to today. The return of Fran's childhood friend in late 2019 from a photoshoot in Italy sparks one of the first transatlantic homecomings as a result of COVID-19. Fran's childhood friend Irish sparks a reawakening in Fran that broadens her thoughts to the past as the present, and all it represents, tightens around everything else. Fran and Irish shared dreams of travel, adventure, and an exciting life, with plans that dwarfed their hometown and home life. As Fran peddles through her education, work, travel, and relationships there is one constant in her life, and that is Irish.
Life's Curves is a wonderful story that carefully threads together all the pieces of a woman's past. Celia A. Milano works her magic in Fran and Irish's story, two young women with much of the family flair that came with a 1960s upbringing, harking from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses of New York during that time. I enjoyed the dynamic of both girls who trust each other implicitly, and the bond that strengthens when for others it may have snapped clean. The descriptive elements, particularly on the scope of extensive travel and landscapes, were phenomenal, but it's Fran's heart and desire to help those around her that will have a lasting impact on me. The "Brush and Floss, So Doc C Doesn't Yell" that Fran spearheaded to serve the disenfranchised was as hilarious as it was uplifting. Fran and Irish are exactly the kind of women who people want to surround themselves with and I am grateful to have had them in my reading sphere for a pleasant couple of hours.