In Painting the Invisible Man, author Rita Schiano introduces us to Anna Matteo, a writer of Italian descend whose father was assassinated by Mafia affiliations when Anna was just a kid. Due to a simple mistake years later, a wrong key stroke while researching on the internet, Anna accidentally uncovers the unpleasant trail of online-newspaper snippets from her father’s killer’s trial; a man Anna had known in her youth and whose acquittal had never given Anna piece nor her dead father justice.
Guided by the invisible hand of her muse, Anna finally delves deeper into the investigation of her father’s death until she not only finds the courage to see the assassin eye to eye, but also bares free her own inner turmoil of forgiveness and self-acceptance.
With Anna Matteo, Rita Schiano created an extremely realistic character. Anna’s thoughts and feelings are expressed in a way that the reader can’t help but simply sympathizes with her past. Schiano’s style is honest and direct. She lets Anna cuss like a truck driver and love like a daughter. I enjoyed the snappy changes between past tense, where Anna leads us back into her childhood which was enlightened by her mother’s love to music and darkened by her father’s affiliations and infamy -- and the present tense, where Anna is battling a one-sided battle with her muse and to come up with the courage needed to do the right thing.
Painting the Invisible Man is an entertaining novel of truth, self-discovery, and the deep urge to find inner piece. I’ve laughed out loud and shed a tear while this story lingered with me long after I turned the last page.