Saturday, June 22, 2013

Forty Years in a Day by Mona Rodriguez & Dianne Vigorito: Review + Interview

Title: Forty Years in a Day

Author: Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito
Release date: 2/19/2013

Genre: Historical Fiction

Event organized by: Reading Addiction Blog Tours

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 many lives on hold.
Quickly, they realize America's streets are not paved with gold, and the limits of human faith and stamina are tested time and time again. Poverty, illness, death, kidnapping, and the reign of organized crime are just some of the crosses they bear.
Victoria's eldest son, Vincenzo, is the sole surviving member of the family and shares a gut-wrenching account of their lives with his daughter during a visit to Ellis Island on his ninetieth birthday. He explains how the lives of he and his siblings have been secretly intertwined with an infamous Irish mob boss and ends his unsettling disclosure with a monumental request that leaves Clare speechless.​
Forty Years in a Day is layered with the struggles and successes of each family member and defines the character of an era. Follow the Montanaro family through several decades, and stand in the shoes of a past generation.

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 understand the title, this is an entire lifetime of history (40 years) in one day.

My regret is that I wish the span of time could have gone slower - become more detailed. Perhaps, a 600 page book? I'm not intimidated by thick novels though. 

When it comes to Forty Years in a Day?

Buy It | Read It | Borrow It | Toss It | Burn It 

Buy Links:

Mona Rodriguez and Dianne Vigorito are cousins. Throughout their lives, they had heard many stories from family members that were fascinating, sometimes even unbelievable, and decided to piece together the puzzle of tales. Through research and interviews, their goal was to create a fictional story that follows a family through several decades, providing the reader an opportunity to stand in the shoes of a past generation and walk in search of their hopes and dreams. What they realize in the process is that human emotions have been the same throughout generations - the difference is how people are molded and maneuvered by the times and their situations. Mona and Dianne live with their husbands in New Jersey and they each have two grown sons. This is their first novel together.

Website | Twitter | Book Trailer

Forty Years in a Day - Mona Rodriguez

Why should someone read your book?

Forty Years in a Day is an immigration story about an Italian family, but it could be about any immigrant family coming to America in the early 1900s. It reignites curiosity and admiration for what our ancestors had endured and accomplished to make our lives better. There are many themes that run throughout the story— the loss and rebound of hope, overcoming fear, discovering strength, honesty, perseverance, forgiveness, survival, the list goes on—but I think the main theme is the importance of family.

What type of person should read your book?

I wanted to write a book that I would enjoy reading, otherwise it wouldn’t work. I like a story that is faster paced, holds my interest, compels me to turn the page, and surprises me at the end. I think Forty Years in a Day has something for everyone. I get emails and comments from men and women of all ages, including teenagers. This story stimulates conversation because everyone has an immigration story to share.

What do you think makes a great story?

I think it comes down to whether the story has the power to entertain me; to elicit emotion; to teach me something; to take me on a journey to a place I’ve never been before. Conflict, doubt, anticipation, and uncertainty should run through the story. The characters must have something significant to lose and more to gain. They must grow emotionally and make me want to root for them, cry with them, or loathe them. Lastly, it should be thought provoking so I finish with a deeper understanding of who I am. Oh yes, I want a happy ending. 

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I need total quiet to write so I usually write early in the morning or late at night.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

I’ve had this particular story churning in my head for many years, sparked by the stories of my family’s past. 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 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 had lived through an era that we can only read about, intertwined with a twist of fiction and sensationalism to make it even more interesting.

Do you base your characters off anything?
The characters are based on family members, both deceased and living.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

I am very fortunate to have a cabin on a lake in upstate New York. The nature and tranquility make it the epitome of a writer’s lair. 

What are you working on now?
There are six cousins living at the end of our story. The idea is to take that next generation into the next forty years.

What are you reading currently?

I just finished Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, and a friend just gave me Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn so that’s the one that I will read next. I plan on catching up on my reading this summer.

If literature was being destroyed, what is one book you would try and save?

Forty Years in a Day
, of course. Next, The Great Gatsby.

I like that interview, it was fun. Thanks! Honestly though, pick up this book. 

Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Wording and opinions are my own.

No comments:

Post a Comment