Monday, October 9, 2023

#Bookreview of The Road to Moresco by Mark Jamilkowski

The Road to Moresco

By: Mark Jamilkowski
Publisher: Treaty Oak Publishers
Publication Date: August 31, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-959127-10-9
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: October 6, 2023
Mark Jamilkowski’s debut novel, The Road to Moresco, is a fascinating tale that takes the reader on a journey through the trials and tribulations of the life of concert pianist Moresco.
The opening pages of this story encapsulate the memorable journey the reader is about to embark upon: "...This is a story about people, places and times, but mostly a story about family and the dynamics which influence actions and reactions…Like drips of water from snow melting on a mountain top, each event in turn becomes a drip collecting with the next to form a brook, then a stream, then a river, joining with the rainwater..."
On December 27, 1910, Francesca and Giuseppe Carnabuci are on their way home from religious festivities. They are excited for the New Year and the performances that will occur in celebration of ‘Mary.’ Shortly after they arrive home and prepare for bed, sometime in the wee hours of December 28th, they are awakened to a catastrophe with no warning. Walls cracked and the earth shook as a formidable earthquake ruptured the seabed under the Strait of Messina. Barely escaping their home with their lives intact, the Carnabuci’s stood outside in shock and watched their home crumble before them. In the coming days, the beautiful seaside town by the Strait of Messina would be nothing more than rubble, debris, and destruction. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Guiseppe chose Santa Teresa di Riva as their new home; a small town south from Messina along the coast of Sicily that was tucked up against the mountains and foothills of Mt. Etna. His hope was to rebuild the wonderful life the two had begun together. Soon Guiseppe would learn he was about to be a father and perhaps this was a sign that happiness would surround them in the coming months and years ahead. Sadly, tragedy would knock on their door again when Giuseppe is killed in WWI leaving behind his wife and their son, Marcello.
As the years go by and Marcello is now a young man, he leaves home to seek fortune and becomes Maria-Luisa Moresco’s lover. She is a striking Italian woman inherently driven to attain insurmountable heights in her professional career when those who surround her are more driven to achieve a happy family and a place to call home. Adamantly against the notion that Marcello decides to go off to war, it’s difficult to tell if she is more angry than distraught when she receives the news he is killed in Spain. What Marcello would never know is he fathered a beautiful baby girl (Chiara) to his lover Maria-Luisa. Over time, Maria-Luisa meets the accomplished violinist, Max Strub, and they eventually marry. However, Maria-Luisa feels her life and ambitions have been derailed because she has a child. She is an accomplished pianist in her own right and cannot accept the responsibility of motherhood over a career.
The complexities and layers of this story are difficult to capture in two short paragraphs. However, I commend Mark Jamilkowski for the fantastic job he did when it comes to the attention to detail. He applies great color to his character development in this rich body of work. He takes his time in building the momentum of the story in a ‘rags to riches’ fashion as much as he infuses the perils of Nazi Germany and Musellini’s dictatorial rein over Italy during this iconic period of time in history. There are wonderful nuggets of history that are woven into an intriguing story of musical accomplishment and the challenges of wanting to have it all as sacrifices are made to achieve that dream.
Quill Says: The Road to Moresco is a tantamount example of not only can you not have it all, but sometimes you can’t always get what you want either.
For more information on The Road to Moresco, please visit the author's website at:

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