The Road to Moresco

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The Italian landscape had been fraught with division for over a thousand years as it was ruled by military empires and kingdoms. The 19th century witnessed a revolution led by rebels seeking unification. By 1910, people like Francesca and Giuseppe Carnabuci sought tranquility in their lives and a desire to build a family. The large temblor that rocked Messina was merely indicative of the overwrought times ahead. Shortly afterward, Francesca gives birth to a son named Marcello. Marcello’s world is shaped early on by two seminal events: the death of his father during World War I and the charismatic yet fascist words of a General named D’Annunzio.

Maria-Luisa Moresco came into the world fighting for her survival. Her parents had lost multiple children in their early years but Maria-Luisa was scrappy. She was known for her piano-playing skills and her stark beauty. She balked at the increasingly fascistic trajectory of her homeland. She would be the ideological opposite of Marcello, yet they clicked romantically. They met in 1935, but their union would be short-lived. Marcello would give his life fighting in Spain and the lasting memory of their relationship would be a daughter named Chiara.

Maria-Luisa would meet and marry an accomplished German violinist named Max Strub. Their relationship would be tested early as Europe devolved into a Second World War. An emotional distance between husband and wife led to infidelities and the inevitable separation. As Chiara grows, Maria-Luisa’s resentment and anger towards Chiara lead to abuse and neglect. Chiara possesses a defiant spirit and longs to make a life of her own, but soon exhibits traits similar to Maria-Luisa.

The Road to Moresco provides a comprehensive, multi-generational view of an Italian family through war and peace, both at home and abroad. The destruction of the landscape through nature and war mirrors the leveling of relationships. Love and loss are frequent factors in the existence of this extended family and the readers will feel the highs and lows equally with the characters. Maria-Luisa is a complex woman, desirous of love while pushing away her firstborn child and second husband. Her feelings towards Chiara and her husband Max are often icy and make her an unsympathetic character. Chiara seems destined to walk a similar stubborn path in life, but lessons in life and family soften her stiffness. Author Mark Jamilkowski more than ably recounts the history of this clan in a manner that evokes empathy while also being entertaining.

Reviewed By:

Author Mark Jamilkowski
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 310 pages
Publisher Treaty Oak Publishers
Publish Date 15-Aug-2023
ISBN 9781959127109 Buy this Book
Issue January 2024
Category Historical Fiction