Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The Good Family Fitzgerald

The Good Family Fitzgerald by Joseph Di Prisco
Rare Bird Books; 4/14/20
eBook review copy; 480 pages

The Good Family Fitzgerald by Joseph Di Prisco is a highly recommended family saga of money, ambition, crime, and the Catholic Church. 

The Fitzgerald family is one of wealth and privilege. Paddy (Padraic) is the patriarch of the family who built up the family wealth through his dubious business interests. Currently he has a young mistress ensconced in a penthouse apartment and has complicated relationships with his children. His oldest beloved son, Anthony, left his wife Francesca a heart-broken widow. Philip is a Catholic priest who is struggling with his ideals versus his human nature. Matty is a teacher who has struggled to find his place, but who also seems to instigate trouble. The youngest, Colleen is a seeker who styles herself the outsider and the conscience of the clan. The whole Fitzgerald family experience one crisis and catastrophe after another. Many of their problems are direct results from their own actions and leave them battling others and each other.

This is a well-written, sprawling family saga that takes patience to get through but readers sticking to it will be rewarded. The language in The Good Family Fitzgerald certainly points to Joseph Di Prisco being a poet, as well as a novelist and memoirist. Themes hearken back to Di Prisco's own life and family experiences, including organized crime, the Catholic Church, and teaching. The characters are finely crafted and well-developed fleshed out characters with definite personalities and reactions to events.

While at the end it was worth the struggle, the novel is slow to start, moves slowly, and sometimes seems a chore to read. Rarely do I bring real life into reviews, but during this stressful time when I am essential, I will admit that I read a chapter and then set it aside for another book and did this over several days. I rarely do this as I like to start a book and finish it before starting another. I read for escapism and relaxation and the slow pace wasn't always what I was craving as far as reading. That said, if I had the spare time this would have been a good book to sink into and immerse myself in the story as it unfolded.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Rare Bird Books.

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