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The Islands of Divine Music

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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  28 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The Islands of Divine Music is a novel of five generations of an Italian-American family finding its place in the New World. Against a backdrop of Immigration, Prohibition, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the new millennium, five generations of the Verbicaro family make their way from Southern Italy to San Francisco as each character brushes up against some ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Unbridled Books
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Teddy
Nov 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008
Rosari had a difficult start in life. Born in southern Italy, her mother, Eleonora ran off with another man and her father, Lazaro was left to raise her. This was back in the early part of the 20th century, when men didn’t take part in child rearing let alone do it solo.

Rosari learned how to read and write at an early age, while the majority of the town folk didn’t know how at all. One day two men asked her to write a letter. They dictated and she wrote it, not understanding most of what she was
...more
Anna
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Addiego covers a lot of ground in The Islands of Divine Music. Not only does he touch upon the divine, the immigrant experience, and the impact of the Vietnam War, he also covers fears of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, migrant workers, and special needs children, among other things. But it never seems over the top. Addiego doesn’t always present the history of the Verbicaro family in chronological order, but the story flows from the present to the past and from character to charact ...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Lazaro and Eleonora Cara immigrated from Italy to New York with their daughter Rosari. Eleonora battled mental illness and when she was found dead, Lazaro and Rosari decided it was time to start over, so they moved to San Francisco. There, Rosari married Guiseppe Verbicaro and they had 6 children. Guiseppe worked hard and they led a fairly normal life. When Guiseppe was 79, he left Rosari for a young, pregnant prostitute. Her son, Jesús, would change this family forever.

The Islands of Divine Mus
...more
Tasha
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
This was an uncorrected proof so reading it could be quite tedious especially when so of the pages were printed so lightly, I could barely make out the words. But nevertheless, it was a good read.

The story begins with Rosari, the family matriarch, her family and descendents from their beginnings in a small Italian village to Ellis Island ad finally to San Francisco. The multiple points of view would seem confusing but it works here. The story of Rosari, her family, her husband, children and gran
...more
Joy
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Way better than I expected. I am not at all sure what the title of the book or the cover art has to do with the story and that is what really turned me off for a long time. I love the characters and the story was interesting, though the jump around and the stories all seemed somewhat independant made it a little hard for me to keep everyone straight and remember the important details for something further on in the story. But, overall, the book was good, interesting, and kept me involved.
Janis Williams
Sep 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a practicing Lutheran of Scandinavian descent I have always wanted to be Italian. Even though this novel is on the short side, the author provides a lyrical, tender, at turned painful and humorous history of an Italian family, immigrants to the Bay Area. So many generations in a few pages. For a few magical pages, I was part of this family. A pleasure to read.
Stacey Nerdin _Scenic Life Designs
Is the divine something that just pushes us around, sending us floating through our lives? Or is the divine something we can draw strength from to MAKE something of ourselves? I could not get past what I saw were the dark textures of these characters' lives, and their lack of self-determination. A bleak read.
Deborah
Feb 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
An intergenerational story of great heart and, yes, soul.
Mary Ann
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Short family saga taking place over some of the more interesting times in our history. Pratt has as YA, but I think some of the passages were rougher than I would expect, even for YA.
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John Addiego has published three novels, the most recent a mystery published this year titled The Jaguar Tree. He's also published numerous stories and poems in literary journals and is a former poetry editor at the Northwest Review. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he now lives with his wife, Ellen in Corvallis, Oregon.
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