Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
342 Pages
Reviewed on 01/15/2021
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Author Biography

Joseph Sciuto was born and raised in New York City where he spent his early years listening to his Italian-American grandmother's vivid stories about how their family was responsible for building much of the impressive Manhattan skyline, including the Empire State Building. The rich flavor of her stories works its way through his writing. Sciuto holds degrees from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Stony Brook University and a post-graduate certificate in Film Studies from New York University. After studying psychology, film, theatre, literature and English as an undergrad, Sciuto relocated to Southern California to attend graduate school at Loyola Marymount University where he studied writing and film. Mia is Sciuto's fifth novel, following the success of Hollywood Riptide, Targeted Demographics, Per Verse Vengeance and Sofia. Visit Joe Sciuto on his blog, "A Curious View," at www.acuriousview.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Mia: A Novel by Joseph F. Sciuto is a story of family and self-discovery that will give you emotional highs unlike any others you have experienced before. The story follows Joe Ciotala, a man who gave his life to Major League Baseball. Now at 50 years of age, Joe is single and has no family to call his own. Depressed and sad, he packs his bags and says goodbye to baseball once and for all. On his journey to find a place to call home, he comes to a place called Salvation that claimed to be a “Gateway to Heaven” with a population of just 550 people. Religious extremism seems to be at its peak here. Amid this chaos, Joe finds Mia. Mia is a meek little thing who quietly puts her head down and soldiers through the pain. Believed to be the spawn of Satan by the community, Joe knows he cannot let her stay here. What will Joe do? Can he protect Mia or is there more to the story?

Mia: A Novel by Joseph F. Sciuto is a sentimental story that pulls at the heartstrings. Joe’s story is wholesome and very poignant in moving the plot forward. Mia is his salvation, his clue to a better future, and the oxygen he desperately needs to live. She becomes a catalyst to his good fortune and opens new avenues that Joe never thought about experiencing before. Joe has a very special relationship with Mia. They have a very balanced relationship. Mia helps Joe realize that it is never too late to start over, and Joe teaches Mia that love does not need a reason. They guide each other, allow each other to grow, and make sure they are strengthening each other. Mia’s healing process is organic, it is not rushed, and she has Joe as her support throughout the process. I would love to know more about Mia’s journey as she grows older and how Joe impacts her life in the future. It is a breathtaking story of love, forgiveness, and family. A beautiful, emotional story that many will love.

Foluso Falaye

While managing a Major League Baseball team in California, Joe Ciotola had missed the deaths of his parents and missed out on basic things, like getting married, having children, and many other things he wished to achieve or experience outside baseball. On his quest to experience life to the fullest at 50, Joe finds himself in Salvation, an eerie town filled with religious zealots and surrounded by uninhabited desert. Here, he feels compelled by his conscience to rescue a troubled soul named Mia from the atrocities performed in the town in the name of religion. Mia by Joseph F. Sciuto is about how one man's actions to save a soul bring more meaning to his life and help him to connect with some beautiful characters.

Baseball lovers will devour Mia! The book explores racial issues, gambling, drug abuse, and other key factors in baseball history and also portrays the most attractive features of the game. Additionally, Joseph F. Sciuto builds the story around themes of child and religious abuse, philanthropy, team management, wealth, cancer, love, and family. The beginning is a bit dark and gloomy, but it quickly switches to a warm and feel-good atmosphere that is maintained throughout the book. A few sentences are written in Spanish, so you may need to make use of a translation site or app while reading. Mia would appeal to readers who love stories about doing good, finding love, and recovering from trauma. It made me feel good and had me smiling for most parts.

Tammy Ruggles

Mia by Joseph F. Sciuto is a sports fiction novel that will break your heart and lift your spirits. This book is mainly about Joe Ciutola, also known as a baseball wizard, who finds out there's more to life than baseball, a career and pastime to which he has devoted everything. This middle-aged protagonist takes a life journey he never counted on or dreamed of, and it begins when he walks away from baseball. He has no wife, no children, and no more dreams. Turning his back on baseball, he begins a new quest, and he doesn't care what it is. He just wants to bond with something else. Something more. Then he stops by a fundamentalist town called Salvation in the desert, where his path crosses with Mia, a young abused girl in need of saving. Joe is that person so there seems to be a salvation of sorts for both of them.

I love Joe's character and the way that Joseph F. Sciuto has written an imperfect but very caring human. The world could use a few more like Joe. His kind character gives the story an almost fairytale feel, but in a good way. You know you are reading about a special person with flaws and regrets like the rest of us. Religion is a theme in the story, the good and the bad. Joe just may be the most Christian of all, and I got the feeling he was a little Christlike. This is a wonderful story about a man searching for himself, for meaning and redemption. Sciuto writes with emotion and pathos, and this novel is about so much more than baseball. It's a life lesson for anyone who feels that they're spending too much time on one thing and not enough where it counts most. Mia by Joseph F. Sciuto is an enriching novel that stays with you.