BOOK REVIEW

Panella's 'Sicilian Dreams' tells immigrants' tale

by DON FOWLER
Posted 10/14/20

Book Review by DON FOWLER New England author Vincent Panella has written a poignant and intimate novel about the Sicilian immigrant experience, filled with historical references and told through the eyes of the many Italians who left their native land to

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BOOK REVIEW

Panella's 'Sicilian Dreams' tells immigrants' tale

Posted

New England author Vincent Panella has written a poignant and intimate novel about the Sicilian immigrant experience, filled with historical references and told through the eyes of the many Italians who left their native land to find a better life in America in the early 1900s.

Protagonist Santo is one of the exploited workers who dreams of a better life in America, only to discover that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the ocean.

Sicilians were traveling back and forth like many Rhode Islanders do every winter to Florida, but unfortunately the long steamboat trip isn’t always as pleasant.

This is a tale of unrealized dreams, as the immigrants are exploited by the Americans and by their fellow Sicilians, forced to work for low wages, fearing for their lives, and faced with many injustices.

The pecking order moves from Black Americans to the Italians to the Irish, as gangs form to protect their own and people live in fear on both sides of the ocean.

Panella has a knack for making us care about his characters, who come to life through his beautiful prose.

The novel shows the hardships that early immigrants faced, reminding us that many of the problems and prejudices are still with us today.

Published by Bordighera Press, the novel will be in bookstores this November.

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