Avenue of Dreams

Lucy Taylor, Author Signet Book $5.5 (464p) ISBN 978-0-451-16599-2
This competent debut covers mostly familiar ground in its saga of Italian immigrants appropriating a piece of the American Dream in the industrial boomtown that was Detroit of the 1930s and '40s. Taylor chooses this tumultuous era of the Depression and union organizing in the developing automotive industry as the backdrop for the domestic drama of the Marcassa family. Chiara toils as seamstress to the wealthy matrons of Grosse Pointe. Her entree into the homes of the rich results in an adulterous affair with the husband of one of her clients, who eases her way through life. Her own husband, Michele, an autoworker, has a hidden past that will return to haunt his family. Taylor conveys the struggle of a traditional Italian man to accept the independent spirit of the woman he loves, and the silent guilt of a husband and wife who successfully conceal painful secrets from one another. Her most convincing writing, though, is in the interplay between immigrant parents, firmly rooted in a culture they've left, and their American-born children, rootless souls caught between the old and new worlds. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1990
Release date: 07/01/1990
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