The Maple Seed Helicopter

Fiction - Inspirational
228 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2021
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Author Biography

Marco Collina - Bio Born in the New York City area and I am proud to be of the Beatles generation. I spent my formative pre-adolescent years living in Rome where I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and extended family. I learned a lot of the Italian culture and still carry it with me today. My name is Marco, I crossed the Atlantic Ocean by passenger ship at the age of 10 and I remember well the encounter with Lady Liberty as I arrived at New York Harbor, as well as the bold impression of American automobiles. I started to work at the age of 14 in the international shipping trade and have continued the same field throughout my life. I lived on Long Island most of my adult life and I've spent a lot of time close to or on the ocean, as this was the place I could always find my soul and attain peace. I have recently started to write as I enjoy expressing myself in written expression, rather than verbally. I am proud to be born in America, the greatest country on earth.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite

In The Maple Seed Helicopter by Marco Collina, even from birth, Marco’s life had been a battle. After his mother died when Marco was only 6 months of age, he was abandoned in an Italian orphanage by his father. Tenderness and kindness were alien to the children in the orphanage. At the age of ten, Marco and two of his friends, Dario and George, decided to venture outside for an adventure that would change the course of their lives. They would narrowly escape capture by German soldiers. Luckily, the boys are found by an elderly man called Domenico who offers them work on the farm he shares with his wife, Elisetta. As the years go by, Domenico and Elisetta raise the boys into fine upstanding young men. With World War II in full force and the never-ending presence of the German soldiers, everyone tries to live a normal existence. Marco and George long to travel to America to discover if the country truly is the land of opportunity. With the help of Elisetta's family connections, they are soon on board a ship set for New York. However, an underhand chess game places Marco and George in danger at sea and, for their own safety, they are put to work away from their enemies in third class. Marco becomes enamored by the excitement of life on the ocean. He decides to find work on a ship and explore the world, while George settles into American life. A series of events and encounters at sea pushes Marco’s inner resolve to the limits. He realizes some invaluable life lessons, the pain of unrequited love, the importance of taking every opportunity with both hands, and placing your trust in God. Marco finally grasps the meaning of true happiness. With God’s guidance, every obstacle is a chance to learn, and the innocence of childhood is where true happiness lies, not in the overbearing noise of the mind and ego.

The beautiful life lessons throughout this novel capture the reader's heart and imagination immediately. The characters of Marco, George, and Dario develop wonderfully. Their experiences in the orphanage build such a strong bond with one another. I absolutely adored Captain Alessandro, a truly inspirational mentor for Marco and also the kindness and warmth of Domenico and his wife Elisetta. They were pivotal people in the lives of the three boys. I also feel the presence of the boys gave the elderly couple a new lease on life. The descriptive narrative was exceptional, especially the scenes on board the ship. Life as a third-class passenger was vivid and extremely realistic. There were some really tense scenes especially those involving the German soldiers and the arrest of Domenico on spying charges. I loved Marco’s poetry throughout the story; it encapsulated the emotion of that particular moment in his life perfectly. The entire story moved forward at a steady pace, revealing even more layers to the plot and characters' personalities. There were so many lessons to be learned from Marco's journey. How pivotal people enter your life for a reason, why certain events arise to strengthen your character, and how every day is a blessing and a reason to show gratitude. The Maple Seed Helicopter by Marco Collina is a highly recommended read.

Edith Wairimu

The Maple Seed Helicopter by Marco Collina is an exciting coming-of-age novel that begins in Italy during the Second World War. It chronicles the story of three boys who escape from an orphanage and are later adopted by a hardworking and loving couple. To find some relief from their oppressive and dull orphanage, Marco and his friends Dario and George plan a trip to a nearby river. The trip does not go as planned and a farmer finds them and decides to take them in. The boys grow up as brothers in Domenico and Elisetta’s home which they love. While Dario has dreams of playing soccer, George and Marco are set on traveling to America. After staying in America for a while, Marco decides to pursue new adventures and see new places.

While covering Marco’s adventures and toward the end of the novel, The Maple Seed Helicopter includes thoughtful spiritual and philosophical lessons about human nature and human existence. It is told from Marco’s perspective and includes the poems that he writes at different points in his life. The first-person narration and the poems help show Marco’s unspoken thoughts and create a connection with him as the main character. As the friends find ways to survive the orphanage’s harsh rules, their bond grows closer. Their friendship and sense of brotherhood are a focal point for the novel before they later go their separate ways. The plot also contains some surprising turns along the way. The Maple Seed Helicopter by Marco Collina is an inspirational novel about friendship and contains impactful lessons.