About the book
The signposts tell the story:
This book is like an old chest in the attic. You open it up, and it is full of documents. As you poke through the papers you will discover a century of stories–really one story: a universal story of humanity.
Like Adam and Eve it starts in a garden, a paradise of beauty and joy. In the idyllic Hoosac Valley of the Berkshire Hills in western Massachusetts, the author was born into two immigrant families, one Irish, the other Italian. But the innocent joys of childhood are interrupted by hard times and war. Families have to leave the Valley, and when the youth encounters the outside world, his life and his faith are challenged. He faces new ideas, new struggles, new pain and suffering. Fate introduces him to the same troubles his ancestors faced, driving him to new countries, new homes, new challenges to survival and faith. Love shows him how to survive, as he bounces from his country of birth, to his northern neighbor, to the countries of his ancestors, to a post-war world that shakes him to the foundations of his faith. He finds new experiences, new friends, new challenges, and encounters and embraces deeper faith and understanding in a diverse world of universal brotherhood–and survives, sustained through the one unifying force of love.
You will meet a century full of characters, from the Roaring Twenties to the Age of Lies. Immigrants from the poorest parts of Ireland and Italy, become Americans who will sacrifice children in defense of their new home. Enduring, they will celebrate success in their promised land. People, actual and fictional, will come and go: some survive, some pass on, some disappear. Others return like bad pennies or a favorite wine. The documents trigger old stories and new stories: stories struggling to answer eternal questions for which there are no definitive answers.
The documents in this book–memoirs, stories, poems, plays, eulogies, editorials, letter of ordinary days, and letters of conflict with hierarchy, travelogues, testimonials, prayers, works, joys and sufferings–will offer you insights, raise mysteries, cause laughter and tears, and trigger memories of your own journey, for we are all immigrants propelled by love on our way to the stars.