In Montanino’s debut historical novel (The Weight of Salt), the young daughter of Sicilian immigrants struggles to carve her own path in the early 20th century.
Overall, this is a poignant family saga that portrays the social, political, and economic struggles of its time. The factory scenes allow Montanino to provide a thorough primer on the intricacies of hand-rolled cigar manufacturing, from humidifying the leaves to stripping off the stems, sorting the leaves, and rolling the cigars. Pasquale and next-door-neighbor Signora Bertelli—who peppers everything she says with Italian curses and benedictions—prove to be the two most amusing and charming characters in the novel, providing relief from the drama’s darker but still compelling moments. Sequels are planned.
An engaging coming-of-age story set in an eventful era.
-- "Kirkus Reviews"
A Gripping Story of Love and Courage.
Florida, 1906 – In the northeast section of Tampa, called Ybor City and known as The Cigar Capital of the World, comes an intimate part of American history that is seldom found in books and susceptible to be forgotten.
Although fiction, The Weight of Salt is inspired by a real person, a real time, and real events. Fifteen-year-old, Angelina Pirrello is bright and excited for her life to begin when she is abruptly torn from her mother’s love and is left to abide by her father’s rigid Italian beliefs. It is the era of unprecedented immigration, the Mafia is terrorizing Italian neighborhoods and store owners, and the fierce fight of the Suffragettes to gain the vote for women.
It is a time when dreams of American freedoms are celebrated and threatened. The old world across the sea clashes with the new, and a young girl must make a choice to fortify or forfeit her spirit. Yet, in the midst of the biggest fire in Florida’s history, and the loss of legions of cigar factories, amid the chaos, Angelina unexpectedly encounters Rolando and soon discovers the force of falling in love. Yet, her dreams are quickly shattered when her father ignores her desire to marry for love and promises her hand in an arranged marriage to an older man she dislikes.
This novel touches on every human emotion, love, joy, heartbreak, passion, and the unexpected. Only because those who lived this story have passed away and cannot testify, this novel is historical fiction and not simply historical fact.
With powerful insight and sensitivity, Sandra Montanino’s debut novel illuminates this long-ago story. She brings us a beautiful, warm, inspiring, yet heartbreakingly novel that celebrates the resilience of one girl. This is a novel for everyone and a tribute to those who lived through it all and those that told and retold their story.
Winner of the Southern California Writers Conference "Outstanding Fiction Award."
"A story that is compelling, complex, and especially satisfying. It's highly recommended reading for historical romance readers who look for an emphasis
on the sociology and history of the times as well as evolving romance."
- D. Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
Publisher: Edwards Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-7345090-0-7 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-7345090-1-4 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-7345090-2-1 (hardback)
FICTION / Romance. | FICTION / Historical. | FICTION / Coming of Age
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