Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fireworks over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

I read this book way back in December, after winning it from Goodreads. Winning it no way affected my opinions of the book.

I read this in about a day; it was a fast read, but by no means a light one. This book proves the term 'quality over quantity'.

It tells the story of Lily Davis, married just three weeks when her husband was shipped off overseas in 1942. We find her in 1945, just days before her husband is set to return. Set in Tocca Georgia, Lily goes about her normal life, if you want to call it normal, unpacking everything and setting up house. In the course of all this, she runs across Jake Russo, who is in town to create the fireworks display on the 4th of July. Meeting him shakes up Lily's life. She realizes she barely knows the man she calls her husband and that she is tired of her organized, planned out southern life. She feels passionate about this dark stranger, who she has only known for a short time. Passionate enough to leave her entire life behind? 

I was intrigued by Jake Russo, an Italian American, who fought in WWII while his own father was being kept in an interment camp back in America. There's a great flashback scene where Jake is talking to his father through the gate of the interment camp he's being kept in. He's confused and asks his father how can he fight for this country who is keeping his father - who has never caused no harm to anyone - locked up? I'm glad that this subject was brought up in this book. Interment camps are often overlooked in American history. And Italian interment camps are something that the government has barely acknowledged even happened.

I was completely swept up in the storytelling. It is a beautiful story that left me breathless. I'm so happy I won this, I probably wouldn't have known about it, otherwise.


Unknown said...

I have this book on my shelf and yet i can't get myself to read it. I will have to now after reading your review.

Laura at Library of Clean Reads said...

I've been waiting to see a review of this book because the synopsis sounds so good! Thanks for posting yours. I now really want to read this book.