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Forty Years in a Day

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Confession is good for the soul even after the soul has been claimed...

The story begins in Italy, 1900. After years of torment and neglect, Victoria and her four small children immigrate to Hell's Kitchen, New York, to escape her alcoholic, abusive husband. On the day they leave, he tragically dies, but she does not learn of his death for several years—a secret that puts
Paperback, Second, 388 pages
Published March 2017 by Mona Rodriguez (first published February 19th 2013)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Jun 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Forty Years in a Day by Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito is a family saga of an Italian family through several generations.
Victoria and her children emigrated from Italy to America in the early twentieth century.
They have a hard life living in Hell's Kitchen and try their best to make a living.
This is a sad story of endurance, poverty and hardship.
Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

----Eric Arthur Blair, better known by his pen name George Orwell, an English author and journalist

Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito, the two American cousin sisters, enchanted and deeply moved our hearts with their debut novel, Forty Years in a Day that revolves around a best-kept-hidden-family secret and how its revelation disrupts lives from generation after generation.

The story begins in Italy, 1900. After
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
History is a fascinating mirror and perhaps none is more so than the people who lived through it. Adding to the layers of intrigue are oral traditions passed down within families that lend new angles of perception and understanding to previous events, not least of them being the awareness that these are one’s own people.

I’ve been fortunate recently to have made the acquaintance of several books written about authors’ relatives and ancestors, amongst them Forty Years in a Day, a family story told
Historical Fiction
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Drawing inspiration from their own family history, authors Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito, created Forty Years in a Day, the story of the Montanaros and their experience as an immigrant family in the early twentieth century.

Fictional though it is I love that the foundations of this piece come from something so real and personal to the women who wrote it. Despite having no connection whatsoever to the authors, I felt a r
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"Forty Years in a Day" follows the story of an Italian woman who leaves her abusive husband to make a new life with her children in America. The premise is that the story is being told through Vincenzo to his daughter at the end of his life.

I love immigrant stories. Many of my ancestors came from Ireland and Ukraine in the beginning of the 20th century and I have always enjoyed reading the accounts of other immigrants to this country. I really liked that book from this aspect. Victoria and her c
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book enhances a family history from roots in Italy to the present era. It is told by a daughter who takes her father at 90 years of age for one last trip to celebrate his birthday. Their day together expands into the lives of their ancestors.
The stunning array of characters that parades through the twists and turns of several generations is amazing. The story is reminiscent of tales told by most older relatives. Family secrets and gossip are opened to the reader's view.

This is a very well w
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Don't you love finding a new author (or in this case authors?)I found one! The voice in this novel is melodic and takes you right from the hills of Italy and pulls you into New York City streets in the early 1900's. You'll want to sit down and enjoy a Sunday meal with the entire family.

"Forty Years in a Day" shows how the choices one person makes filters down through generations. It's a novel about the complexities of family and relationships, entwined with mystery and history. It is a great fin
Jenny Q
May 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Giveaway @ Let Them Read Books!

3.5 Stars. Forty Years in a Day is based on a true story and begins with a father-daughter outing to Ellis Island, where immigration exhibits spark memories, and the story of a family's tragic roots is finally told. The tale begins with the young, beautiful, and idealistic Victoria at the turn of the twentieth century and follows her as she flees Italy with her small children for a new beginning and a better life in America. Victoria quickly realizes how hard it is
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, kindle
Italian immigrant novel mildly comparable to Angela's Ashes only because of the new world hardships & triumphs. The saga spans four generations with similar family problems and triumphs as most all families: physical and verbal abuse, alcoholism, illness, jealousy, illiteracy, mobbery, adultery, love.... There were terribly sad moments during the story that you wonder how families/parents go on but then somehow we just do. The story did show how families came to the USA and built themselves up i ...more
Cami Hensley
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow, these authors really did an amazing job of bringing 1900's to life through one family and several generations.

This is the kind of story that makes you think of the elderly who talk about their past and what they have gone through in life. I personally don't have anything to compare it to, but it really did make me feel like I was a part of the story and their trials and tribulations.

There are many twists and family problems throughout. It will definitely keep your interest until the very e
Ruth Parker
Jun 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Drawing from their own experiences, the authors have created a historical narrative around an Italian family over several generations. This family saga was an interesting read, but I found it a little slow at times. It was a sad story regarding hardship and poverty but I felt a bit of a disconnect with the characters - the book moved on quickly to the point where I felt no emotional connection to the characters. This made it hard to become invested in the book and in the family and their dynamic ...more
Mary Yarde
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing

“Clare, every day you’re alive is a beautiful day…”

Clare had grown up hearing that, but she had never really understood the meaning behind the words until she found herself sat on a bench with her ninety-year-old father. It was then that she dared to ask him a question — one that she feared he would not be able to answer because memories fade, as memories do. Clare asked him to tell her the story of his life.

Vincenzo Montanaro may well be old, but he remembers everything. Every detail. But his s
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I will just start with what I think about this book since you can already see the summary above. I really loved this book. I enjoyed learning about each of the characters and throughout the story I felt like I was part of the family. There were so many things in the story that really caught me off guard, mostly towards the end of the book though. The plot was really good, not in a suspenseful kind of way, but more that it was just really interesting. I would recommend this book to everyone!
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
REALLY enjoyed this story - despite the sad times the family kept going through - but that's the life can be. Although this story was about an Italian family coming to America, it could have been about any immigrant family. Enjoyed the togetherness of the family. BIG surprise at the end!!! Really got me! Well written! ...more
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book held my interest. It told of hardship these people went through.

It was tragically sad, but very happy at times.
I found it very interesting to find out who was behind all what was happening.
Kelly Klasen
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Forty Years in a Day," tells the story of an Italian woman who left her alcoholic and abusive husband and immigrated to Hell's Kitchen, New York. The authors did a wonderful job exploring life as an immigrant in America and portraying the hardships and challenges they faced.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Epic story that chronicles a family from 1900 in Italy to present day America. Great characters. Tragic parts but surviving parts. Loved it!
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
In Calvano, Italy, in the early years of the twentieth century, Victoria is married to Salvatore and their children: Vincenzo, Francis, Gennaro, Catherina and Gabriella. The marriage is turbulent, and soon Victoria flees to America with the four children, where she finds refuge with her brother and his family who live in the tenements of New York City's lower East side.

These four children lead disparate lives, they grow up, they marry, they are involved with the mob, they deal with Francis's su
=^.^= Janet
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: zz-2019ng-wir
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

Confession is good for the soul even after the soul has been claimed...

The story begins in Italy, 1900. After years of torment and neglect, Victoria and her four small children immigrate to Hell's Kitchen, New York, to escape her alcoholic,
Alison Simpson
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. The story is compelling (especially if you love New York City) and hauntingly beautiful. I loved the premise, the characters, learning about the immigrants' plight, and what it might have been like to enter through Ellis Island and try to make a go at life in New York City so long ago. There are gut-wrenching moments and beautiful scenes, and the story was presented with compassion and tenderness.

At times the story moves very quickly, but there are a lot of characters and a lo
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Wow, a lot can happen in 40 years. Italian siblings immigrate to America and the family experiences one tragedy after another, including domestic violence, murder, gang affiliation, alcoholism, drug use, mental health trauma, adultery, grief, and broken hearts.
I did enjoy learning new details about life in New York City during the first half of the 20th century. The writing seemed a bit like a textbook at times, though, with little emotional connection to the characters and a “tell” rather than
Sep 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Forty Years in a Day was an emotionally powerful and very touching book that had an unexpected twist. Although there were a lot of ups and downs, dramatic moments, and deeply moving events, it felt too rushed for me. I understand they only had one day, but I felt like it wasn’t enough to make the readers feel the power emotions from the story. There were times when I was confused and had to go back a few pages just to see where I was in time. It was just too much happening , too many characters, ...more
Mona Rodriguez
Jan 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Forty Years In A Day begins in 1900 and follows the incredible journey of a young mother and her four children as they escape from Italy into the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. That woman was my grandmother. The story ends with a woman who knows the father of her children is living a double life with another, but she loves him so much that she overlooks the arrangement rather than forfeit the man. Those were my parents. In between are the stories that I had heard from family members who ha ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
You can read this and other reviews at Shut Up and Read

This book lets us hear the "story" that Vincenzo tells his daughter on a bench, much like the cover, on his 90th birthday. It's much like the story we all wonder towards the end of our grandparents or parents lives - but who were you, really?

This book follows an intricate web of the family dating back to the early 1900's.

This book is easy to read in that the writing is beautiful and the story plot interesting.

Of course, we can then underst
Clive Mccartney
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a free ARC of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review. I've given this book 3 stars and I'm not sure why not 4, maybe just because it's a fairly simple linear tale of an Italian immigrant family through the early years of the 20th Century, and it's not my usual murder mystery/sci-fi/fantasy type of book. This is well written, although with a few syntax & spelling errors that indicate a need for some extra editing. Starting slowly and gathering pace, the story wields powerfu ...more
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was a perfectly pleasant light read, based on the authors’ own family experiences, and an historically accurate account of life for an immigrant family in New York over the first half of the 20th century. Nothing much else to say, really. A good editor should have picked up on mistakes in vocabulary, which, as a pedantic reader I found irritating, and as the characters are not explored in any depth, I wasn’t able to engage with any of them, but I stuck with it and was glad to find out what ...more
Bdiz Ziemer
May 26, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just poor writing

Poorly written schmaltzy melodrama. No real character development. No actual plot line. Fractured grammar. Any number of anachronisms. Serious infringement on the first commandment of storytelling; “ show, don’t tell.”

Not really a good use of time.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Nice easy read that kept my attention.. lots of twists and turns that seem a bit underdeveloped though.
Jennifer Grimm
Aug 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
Laborious reading. There was too many unneeded adjectives and adverbs in the way of the story. It left no room for any feelings for the family.
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Source: Thank you for my free copy from Tate Publishing for the purpose of review. Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

On Vincenzo Montanaro's ninetieth birthday, he and his daughter Clare take a trip to Ellis Island, New York. He shares with his daughter the story of his family. As he shares from his heart, Clare for the first time begins to understand her father better. In the past he'd shared a few stories, but some memories he'd held back until now.
His story be
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