The satisfying conclusion to Angela Lanza’s story which began in Between the Cracks when she loses her entire family in the earthquake on Sicily following the 1908 eruption of Mt. Etna and continues in The Ascent as she adjusts to life in the United States as a new bride and Italian American immigrant. Now, in the final installment in the trilogy, The Benevolence of New Ideas, thrusts Angela and her family into the heart of the Vietnam War and the turbulent times of the 1970s. As the family matriarch, Angela guides her niece, Marie, through these challenges and the era’s limiting structures of education and organized religion, helping Marie to embrace new ideas and expand her intuition and relationship with the unseen world. Angela’s compassion and wisdom has an exceptional impact on Marie’s life and those around her. A fulfilling ending that celebrates Angela’s wisdom in all things along with her well lived life from tragedy to triumph and from heartbreak to the enduring love of family.
Angela had cared for Franco during his long illness, and now she was free. The relief she felt made her cringe. How could she so easily feel relief when Franco had suffered? She grieved but was thankful there would be no more concerns about leaving him home alone, or trips to the doctor, or Franco insisting he could perform a task when he couldn’t. He had emigrated from Sicily at age twelve 12 in the early 20th century full of energy and promise. Now, in 1968, Angela looked back and felt he had been successful in fulfilling that promise. Franco had brought Angela, at age eighteen, from the convent orphanage in Palermo, where she had lived since the 1908 earthquake, to a new life in Nelsonville, New York, about forty-five minutes north of Manhattan. It was not the life she thought she would have in America, but what she had created in America she never would have had the opportunity to experience had she stayed in Sicily.
Angela kissed Franco several times on both cheeks and on the lips. The doctors had said it was a matter of time until he would pass away. She could see death hovering and begin to slowly drape his body from his head to his feet as if giving Angela time to say good-bye.
“Adio mio caro,” whispered Angela. “Grazie di tutto.” Tears rolled down her face onto Franco’s cheek and mouth. His eyes were open and fixed, as if peering into the world beyond. She put her hands on the sides of his face and with her thumbs closed his eyes.
about Carmela Cattuti
Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write this homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt. Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.
Between the Cracks and The Ascent began the story, which now concludes with the final book in the trilogy.
Learn more at: CCattutiCreative.com
Purchase Links: The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.
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