About the Book:
Part family drama and part self-actualization story, this is about Donna Greco, who in her teens, subscribes to a conventional view of success in life—and pushes her freewheeling, artistic brother, Vincent to do the same. However, he remains single, childless, and subsists in cramped apartments. She harbors guilt for her supposed failure until she discovers a sketch-book he’d made of his life, which prompts her own journey to live authentically.
While this textured story combines serious issues such as alcoholism, death, and family conflict, it’s balanced with wit and humor and is filled with endearing, unforgettable characters. The story spans decades, beginning in 1970 and ending in the present. Readers will be immersed in this tale as it poses an intriguing question: “What pictures will you have of yourself by the end of your life?”
It’s a long journey to self-actualization but Grace Mattioli’s main character, Donna, eventually learns that not only is her perspective of a good life not right for her, it was also not a good “bar” to measure others’ lives. In particular, she has deemed her brother Vince’s life to be a failure. However, Vince is content, happy even, without all the trappings that Donna deems to mean success and happiness.
‘’Real wealth like the kind Vincent had resided within’’
Author Grace Mattioli does not pretty-up anything. She addresses the harsh-realities of life including alcoholism, adultery, and family dysfunctionality. Pop-culture references take readers through the decades, as Donna and Vince find their places in the world.
I really appreciated Vince and his relationship with Donna and her children. His outlook on life was refreshing. There are a number of take-aways in Ms. Mattioli’s novel. Primarily, Donna’s unhappiness with the status quo of her life and how her brother helped her reach a level of self-actualization that would lead to her finding a happy place.
About the Author: Grace Mattioli writes contemporary fiction filled with humor and insight. Escape into a world of colorful, unforgettable characters as they search for answers to the big questions in life. Laugh at witty, humorous situations and dialogue; be moved by touching moments of life so poignantly captured in story.
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