Based on true events, Elizabeth Street is a multigenerational saga that opens in an Italian village in the 1900s, and crosses the ocean to New York's Lower East Side. At the heart of the novel is Giovanna, whose family is targeted by the notorious Black Hand -the precursor to the Mafia.
Elizabeth Street brings to light a period in history when Italian immigrant neighborhoods lived in fear of Black Hand extortion and violence - a reality that defies the romanticized depiction of the Mafia. Here, the author reveals the merciless terror of the Black Hand and the impact their crimes had on her family. Giovanna is based on Fabiano's great-grandmother, and the book's heroes and villains - such as Lieutenant Petrosino, the crusading cop and "Lupo the Wolf", a cold-blooded criminal - are drawn from real life in this thrilling tale.
While set in a dynamic historical context, Elizabeth Street is, above all, the dramatic story of the heroine Giovanna and how she triumphed over tragedy.
©2010 Laurie Fabiano (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"A fascinating account… that is at once inspiring and terrifying. Laurie Fabiano has turned her family's experience into a riveting tale." (Tom Brokaw)
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Elizabeth Street reminded me a lot of The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani however I enjoyed Elizabeth Street so much more!
Both stories follow Italian immigrants as they settle down in New York in the early 1900s, and if you’ve read them both then perhaps you’ll agree with me:
The Shoemaker's Wife just floated along, nothing really happened and no particular events or story lines really stood out. Overall to me, the story was not that memorable.
In comparison Elizabeth Street was really absorbing. Things happened in this book! The plot was intriguing, the people were interesting, the story was suspenseful, there was action, drama, intrigue … really, no contest between the two books. Elizabeth Street wins hands down. I liked it very much, it was a great read!
First, I did not care for the narration. Ms Dawe speaks in a halting voice that takes a long time to get used to. The story itself got bogged down with a kidnapping, and I was glad to see it end. I really would not recommend this title.
I am partial to Jewish Immigrants' stories so this seemed very interesting. There is no difference between which nationality/religion these immigrants came from. They are our past and that's why their stories are relevant, personal and entertaining.
I really wanted to like this book because the subject matter was interesting, but even though it was unabridged it felt kind of choppy. Parts of it really dragged. And the narrator didn't bring anything to the story. I felt the reading was very pedestrian.
I enjoyed the historical aspect and learned things I wasn't aware of prior to reading this. I actually looked up more information which added to my understanding of the characters. The main character, Giovanna, was a tough woman. Her sissy husband was a shame!
Only the narration.
No. I almost sent the book back due to the monotone drone of her narration. It reminded me of a computerized telephone voice. I am glad I stuck it out because Laurie Fabiano's story was quite enjoyable.
I would recommend the book, but not the audio version.
Of course my family is Italian and my grandparents came from the old country so it a lot of meaning for me. I never get tired of it. I read it first now listen to when ever I just want to relax.
There is just enough detail and description to bring each character and location to life, while keeping the action moving. Readers and listeners alike in my book club agreed that we felt like we were in the middle of the story.
The protagonist inhabits two countries and cultures, feeling strong ties to both, similarly to Abraham Verghese's in "Cutting for Stone." Both immigrate to America after political upheaval in their native countries.
I enjoyed listening to the reader. I was able to understand everything easily. Hearing the pronunciation of foreign names and locations was a plus!
The story often made me pensive, reflecting on the extreme hardships that push immigrants to make frightening journeys to the United States. In the hands of a capable author, their heroic stories of seeking opportunity are emotional and fascinating.
My book club was very impressed that the author told her own family's story so well. Due to her research and rich character development, we learned new things about Italian-American history and ended up caring about and appreciating the people who lived it.
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