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Formats
Paperback Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9780991530502 0991530500
  • 290 pages
  • $14.95
Ebook Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9780991530519 0991530500
  • 290 pages
  • $4.99
Ebook Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9780991530502 0991530500
  • 290 pages
  • $14.95
Fifteen
Fifteen is set in the Bronx in 1967, in a time of conflicting emotions—light-hearted expressions of freedom, and angry displays of turbulence. The revolution of the 60’s is not only an exterior uprising in the world, but an upheaval at home in this traditional second-generation Italian-American household. The story is told in two viewpoints of a mother and her daughter. Maria is a young mother married to Luigi who is fifteen years older and set in his ways. Angelina, a typical teen of the turbulent era, falls for a sexy Italian man who mistakes Maria and Angelina for sisters. Unbeknownst to Angelina, he has a crush on her mother. Angelina seeks ‘free love’ like her friends, but, what does she do when she gets pregnant? And, is it free love or date rape with her? Is Maria justified in her passionate desire for a younger man? Will she sprout her wings exiting her stale marriage—forever wearing a label of “sinner” for her infidelity? Why can’t Nonna (Grandma) play poker with all those terrifying mafia guys? Is quirky Tia, who has what appears to be a perfect liberated life, truly happy? Will Luigi ever ‘cool out’ and discover his true self? Why can’t he realize he has everything he ever wanted right under his nose? And, Pasquale—is finding the perfect wife the answer to his dreams, or should he find himself first? The characters in Fifteen struggle with their own various issues—all in ‘different ages’ of turmoil. But, it’s when Pasquale, the sultry Italian stallion enters the picture, that sparks fly and nothing in the Campisi family is ever the same again.
Reviews
Kirkus Review

“In this novel of a New York City Italian-American family in the 1960s, a mother and daughter both long for love but end up with drama….The story unfolds amidst the volatile events of the ’60s, including the Vietnam War,

“free love” and women’s liberation.…the characters are compelling and well-drawn, and the story moves at a quick clip…An entertaining novel that paints a fine portrait of 1960s New York.”

                --Kirkus Reviews

 

 

Thirty-four-year-old Maria Campisi is an unhappy wife and mother. Her large family gathers every Sunday night for

dinner, and during this weekly ritual, her husband, Luigi, berates her, her sister-in-law looks down on her, and her

mother-in-law, Nonna, belittles her. However, she takes some solace in the fact that people often mistake her to be her

FIFTEEN

Doyle, Carolyn

Manuscript

BOOK REVIEW

In this novel of a New York City Italian-American family in the 1960s, a mother and daughter both long for love but end

up with drama.

Thirty-four-year-old Maria Campisi is an unhappy wife and mother. Her large family gathers every Sunday night for

dinner, and during this weekly ritual, her husband, Luigi, berates her, her sister-in-law looks down on her, and her

mother-in-law, Nonna, belittles her. However, she takes some solace in the fact that people often mistake her to be her

daughter’s sister. Meanwhile, her daughter, 15-year-old Angelina, dresses like a greaser and goes to bra-burning protests

with her friends. Their lives both change when Luigi hires contractors to work on their house—among them the

handsome Pasquale. Maria feels an immediate attraction to him, basking in the glow of his attention and compliments.

But Angelina also swoons over Pasquale, especially after her own boyfriend, Ford, pressures her into sex she doesn’t

want to have. Family tensions at home make matters worse, as Nonna keeps disappearing for hours at a time and acting

mysterious. Maria gets in too deep with Pasquale, and as she backpedals, Angelina tries to use him as a pawn in a plan of

her own. But when Luigi catches Pasquale in his teenage daughter’s bed, Pasquale is arrested, Maria is beside herself;

meanwhile, Angelina and Nonna still both have secrets. The women of the family will have to come together for the

Campisis to have a happy ending. The story unfolds amidst the volatile events of the ’60s, including the Vietnam War,

“free love” and women’s liberation. These cultural markers are sometimes heavy-handed, but they’re tempered slightly

by the effectively used signposts of an urban Italian-American family: cannoli, marinara sauce, stickball and more. With

two first-person narrators telling the story—mother and daughter in alternating chapters—the novel sometimes reads like

a diary, as they both reveal their feelings and grievances. Overall, however, the characters are compelling and

well-drawn, and the story moves at a quick clip. Some readers may wish for a different, more independent ending for the

heroines, but they’ll at least get the satisfaction of watching mother and daughter come together.

An entertaining novel that paints a fine portrait of 1960s New York, even if it does sometimes plow familiar dramatic territory.

Formats
Paperback Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9780991530502 0991530500
  • 290 pages
  • $14.95
Ebook Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9780991530519 0991530500
  • 290 pages
  • $4.99
Ebook Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9780991530502 0991530500
  • 290 pages
  • $14.95

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