A Time for Wedding Cake

Salvatore La Puma, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-393-02890-4
In this lusty but disappointing tale, La Puma returns to the working-class Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., that he mined in his acclaimed short story collection The Boys from Bensonhurst. Set in the years following WW II, it focuses on a hot-blooded Sicilian family, with a histrionic plot full of passion, sex, seething jealousy, vengeance and murder that is intermittently entertaining but never fully satisfies. Macho bricklayer Mario Leone has a tragic accident that touches every member of his family, especially younger brother Gene, the narrator, who teaches fifth grade. Gene, who keeps busy with four different women, will pose as a hospitalized mental patient to avoid one of them, giving this schmaltzy story some of its more macabre, effective moments. Mom and Pop Leone, forever at each other's throats, are props who serve to illustrate the author's thesis that Sicilians ``punished their kids for the misery they felt in their marriages.'' Movie rights optioned by Goldwyn Studios. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-452-26814-2
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