The Road to Moresco

Fiction - Historical - Personage
302 Pages
Reviewed on 07/04/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The Road to Moresco by Mark Jamilkowski begins in 1910 when Francesca and Giuseppe Carnabuci survived an earthquake and tsunami in Messina, Sicily, resettling in Santa Teresa di Riva. Their son Marcello, influenced by his father's wartime death and nationalist sentiments, embraced Fascism and moved to Venice at sixteen, joining the Opera Nazionale Balilla and pursuing acting and reconstruction projects. Barbara Maria di Vercellini's family supported Italian unification, and her granddaughter, Maria-Luisa, pursued piano amid Mussolini's rise. Maria-Luisa studied music in Berlin and Vienna, returning to Venice in 1934 where she met Marcello, who was later involved in the Spanish Civil War. Maria-Luisa pours her heart into music and Catholicism, giving birth to Chiara in 1937, who will grow to find her own way in the midst of the Cold War, and so the line continues through the generations.

Mark Jamilkowski packs a historical saga into a short span with The Road to Moresco, and in doing so covers a lot of ground relatively quickly. It's interesting to see the way that the experiences of the previous generation impact the next and to see that common thread make its way through so many of the biggest moments in history. Much of it is spent covering WWII and the writing is very narrative-heavy, providing a lot of substantive facts that lean more toward what was happening at the time. What I enjoyed the most was finding out that Maria-Luisa had famous students including the likes of Japanese pianist Kazuko Nakazawa. The writing is substantive and has a comfortable and deliberate simmering pace. Moresco is the name of a place, and the road is symbolic of a full-circle return to our roots as the line progresses. Overall, this is a great read for those who enjoy novels that are rich in facts and history.