Rosanna Chiofalo's poignant, beautifully written novel evokes the stunning scenery of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands and tells of mothers and daughters, love and sacrifice--and the choices that resound across continents and through generations.
Julia Parlatone doesn't have much to remember her Italian mother by. A grapevine that Sarina planted still flourishes in the backyard of Julia's childhood home in Astoria, Queens. And there's a song, "Stella Mia," she recalls her mother singing--my star, my star, you are the most beautiful star--until the day she left three-year-old Julia behind and returned to Italy for good.
Now a happily married school teacher, Julia tries not to dwell on a past she can't change or on a mother who chose to leave. But in an old trunk in the family basement, she discovers items that belonged to her mother--a song book, Tarot cards, a Sicilian folk costume--and a diary. Sarina writes unflinchingly of her harsh childhood and of a first, passionate love affair; of blissful months spent living in the enchanting coastal resort town of Taormina and the unspoiled Aeolian Islands north of Sicily as well as the reasons she came to New York. By the diary's end, Julia knows she must track down her mother in Italy and piece together the rest of the complex, bittersweet truth--a journey that, for better or worse, will change her own life forever.
Praise For The Novels Of Rosanna Chiofalo
"What a glorious novel this is. It's a celebration of life, love and unlikely friendship through the eyes of two very different women. Yet their similarities bind them together and will endear them to readers long after the last page is turned. Bravissima for Carissima!" --Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author
"Fantastico! I couldn't put it down!" --Lisa Jackson, # 1 New York Times bestselling author
"Chiofalo brings the Italian immigrant community and neighborhoods richly to life." --Publishers Weekly
"Reading Rosanna Chiofalo's depiction of a modern Italian-American family is like digging into a fresh bowl of pasta--warm, welcome, and satisfying. A deeply felt debut that affirms the importance of friends and family--Italian-style." --Lisa Verge Higgins, author of Random Acts of Kindness
"Well-drawn characters. . .A charmer." --BookPage
"Sometimes tough, sometimes tender, always heartfelt and honest, Bella Fortuna is a lively, finely-stitched tale of life and love, family and friendship, and a zest for cose Italiane!" --Peter Pezzelli, author of Home to Italy