Notorious Casolini
by Angelo Crapanzano
Westwood Books Publishing LLC

"She walked up to the door and found that it was open. Was this some kind of trap? She walked inside with her hand on her pistol under her apron."

Peppino lives in a small Sicilian village. He helps his father work their farm. His sister, Stellina, cooks and keeps house for them. While they have many friends, they live within a class system that is built on connections and patronage. The town’s mayor and his family, plus other governing officials and their clans, rule the hamlet oppressively. When the mayor’s son attempts to wed Stellina, events are put in place that could destroy Peppino’s family. He is soon jailed for a murder he didn’t commit, but he eventually escapes and begins a frighteningly calculated revenge.

The author has fashioned a tale of Italy based on a story his father told him. While it may not rise to the literary heights of Shakespeare’s legendary feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, it travels similar trails of heartbreak, betrayal, and revenge. Crapanzano delves deeply into the life and times of his characters. He meticulously depicts both the hardships and joys of their often-meager existence. Daily duties and tasks that the farm demands are copiously detailed, as are the joyously prized celebrations of weddings, impending births, and more. He maintains a steady hand on the plot tiller also, as he weaves an involving story of one individual’s journey from everyman, to victim, to avenging angel.

There are many tales of past wrongs and attempts to right them. The most memorable show an understanding of the harm authoritarianism inflicts. Crapanzano’s novel is a sincere attempt to imbue his tale with the flesh and blood and emotions that propel us all.

Return to USR Home