This was a fabulous immigrant story filled with ups and downs, tragedies and triumphs.
The story is about Ciro and Enza, who meet once in their native Italy, and then later during a few chance meetings in America. Their romance is slow moving and filled with doubts at the beginning. It's the story of hardworking immigrants striving for the American dream, hoping to one day return to their native country, to live out the rest of their years.
I love stories about Italian immigrants, and like I did with Elizabeth Street, I pretended to insert my own family members into the shoes of the fictional characters, thinking maybe this was the kind of lives they lived.
I loved the characters of both Ciro and Enza, but Enza was definitely my favorite. I loved her strive for independence and her need of not just waiting for life to drop into her lap. Even after she married, she was still determined to work and be her own individual. And her strength through tragedy was admirable. Oh, and I loved the parts when she worked at the Met with her best friend Laura and came across Enrico Caruso and Geraldine Farrar. Boy, were they characters!
The story took place over several years and two wars. It showed immigrant life in the early 20th century perfectly, and the struggle of the working class. There was a bit of sadness, and I admit to sobbing at one point, but I felt satisfied when I finished the book. I enjoyed every word.