By Andrew Eustace Anselmi
It is the summer of 1982, just before the fall. The political campaign ad of It’s Morning in America has not yet aired, but the present era of cultural hedonism and radical individualism has already dawned. Against this backdrop, Edward Bennett is the All-American son of a mother who emigrated from Italy and a first-generation Italian American father. Edward has it all: good looks, pedigree, and the financial fruits of his father’s business empire. As he readies for his junior year abroad in London, however, something feels amiss. He does not understand the overprotectiveness of his mother, Marie. He vows to solve the puzzle by finding her native town in southern Italy that she herself has refused to revisit. Ultimately, the journey triggers Marie’s suppressed memory of her cruel beginning, which she and her family can either confront or continue to deny.
As a postscript, the reader is treated to a third-party commentary that psychoanalyzes what the work reveals about the author.