Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

The Bird that Sang in Color
Grace Mattioli. Grace Mattioli, $2.99 e-book (356p) ASIN B08GS2D3ZB
Mattioli (The Brightness Index) unfurls a moving story of two Italian American siblings across several decades. It’s 1970 in New Jersey, and teenager Vincent Tucci is into astral projection and other trappings of the hippie era. His younger sister Donna watches as their traditional and emotionally abusive father, Cosimo, belittles Vincent and chases him out of the house with a steak knife. Vincent later attends college, where he studies philosophy in a quest to understand Aristotle’s view of happiness, and eventually moves back home and settles into blue-collar jobs. Donna, in contrast, has her life planned out: major in English, become a college professor, marry a rich man (because her father said teaching in college wouldn’t pay much), and live in a nice house “with trees that turn orange in the fall and flower pink in the spring.” By 1980, she’s engaged and feels a little guilty about moving on while Vincent hangs around at home. Looking back in 2012, with all her early dreams fulfilled, she feels a lingering unease and realizes Vincent “was happy without all those things, and the big irony was that I had all those things, but I was unhappy.” The author traces the Tucci family dynamics with graceful prose. This poignant character-driven story is worth a look. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 03/17/2023