The Longitude of Grief

Fiction - Literary
242 Pages
Reviewed on 05/24/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Longitude of Grief is a work of fiction penned by author Matthew Daddona in the literary, coming-of-age, and interpersonal drama genres. Readers are invited to enjoy a dark coming-of-age tale following protagonist Henry Manero as he navigates the complexities of growing up in a small town marked by intimacies and betrayals. Henry struggles with inherited guilt and trauma, contending with an absent father, a suffering mother, and a series of dysfunctional relatives. An elderly man, Josef, offers Henry new insights, prompting him to question if he can transcend his circumstances. This debut novel, rich in melancholy beauty and emotional depth, explores the intricate bonds of family and the quest for self-discovery.

Author Matthew Daddona has a keen sense of what makes people tick, and he utilizes it to its full potential in this emotionally charged novel to offer readers a profoundly moving story. I was instantly charmed by the poetic and philosophical approach to Henry Manero's journey, which captures the nuances of growing up in a town shadowed by sorrow and familial complexities beautifully. The character of Henry, with his struggle to reconcile his inherited guilt and trauma, is portrayed with remarkable sensitivity. The dialogue never spoon-feeds us the emotions he’s feeling but gives us everything we need to read between the lines and dig deep into his psyche. The dynamics with his mother, stepfather, and cousins were intricately woven, depicting a web of connections that both suffocate and sustain him, and I found their characterization vivid yet realistic. This novel is a tender exploration of the bonds that entangle us and the relentless pursuit of identity and belonging. The poignant reflections on intimacy and betrayal were well-paced and bittersweet. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Longitude of Grief to fans of accomplished, emotive literary fiction everywhere.