Synopses & Reviews
WHEN THE WORLD WAS YOUNG takes readers back to the neighborhoods of 1957 Chicago, where Angela Rosa and Agostino Peccatori, Italian-American immigrants still clinging to their old ways, must deal with the untimely death of Benito, the infant son. Angela Rosa has devoted her entire adult life to caring for her children, while Agostino runs the corner social club and tavern, drifting notoriously to other women. Oldest son Santo, having just graduated from high school, agonizes over the ways in which he is becoming more and more like his father, while 16-year-old daughter Victoria must constantly invent schemes to leave the house so she can meet up with boyfriends for a cigarette. Benito's death sends the entire family on paths that intersect and collide until the dramatic ending.
The complexities and mysteries of familial bonds are brought into sharp, agonizing focus Chicago Sun-Times
“Romanos first novel is a vivid and eloquent map…a most accomplished first novel, rich in characterization, setting, and psychological acuity” Chicago Tribune
“Tony Romano can indeed write … When the World Was Young … is a multilayered, often dark and edgy saga.” Philadelphia Inquirer
“A low-key, compelling look at family love and betrayal set against an old-style immigrant drama” Kirkus Reviews
In Chicago, in the summer of 1957, Italian immigrants Angela Rosa and Agostino Peccatori are caught between worlds, as they cling to old-country ways in an era of upending change. Angela Rosa must cope with the building tension—exacerbated by Agostino's wandering eye—of raising five U.S.-born children who are struggling to define themselves within a family rooted in old-world tradition. But the events of a single tragic evening are about to bring all of their lives to a sudden, irreversible standstill—as a once resilient family begins to unravel under a crushing burden of guilt. A poignant testament to the power of sacrifice, loyalty, and unconditional love, When the World Was Young is a stunning tale of one family's will to survive.
About the Author
Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Tony Romano is a two-time winner of a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project. His fiction has appeared in numerous publications and his stories have been produced for NPR's The Sound of Writing series. He lives near Chicago, Illinois.