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Set in the early 1900's, Linda Bilodeau crafts a bittersweet and charming tale of a young man's journey from the dreams of youth to the harsh realities of life.
Nicola Romolo's world is shattered when he and his family are evicted from the land they called home for his affair with the landowner's daughter. Bereft but bound by duty to his family, he moves to Naples where his uncle has offered a position. Through this job, he falls in with the local crime family and meets the woman who will become his wife, Maria Amato. Fate conspires against him once more when he rushes to defend Maria from ravishment by the parish priest. In the scuffle, Nicola accidentally kills the priest, who happens to be the brother-in-law of the local Don. Afraid, Nicola and Maria wed, then flee to America hoping to lose themselves in the tide of immigrants who are seeking opportunity.
Nicola finds work aboard the ocean liner and discovers his first love and her new husband are also on board. The two couples' paths continue to intersect from the crowded streets of New York to the lush vineyards of California . In the end, Nicola must choose between the love of the woman he lost and the love of the woman he found.
Reviewed by Mairead Walpole on February 8, 2009