Painting the Invisible Man by Rita Schiano
Reviewed by Jennifer Baker for Shelfari Author Review
Anna Matteo pays the bills by writing press releases, newsletters, and brochures. Even though she has one published novel under her belt, she no longer considers herself a "real writer". She's been working on the same novel for the past seven years, but has yet to even give it a title despite constant goading from her muse, Amy Tan. You see, as Anna keeps avoiding working on her novel, the voice of Amy Tan regularly whispers "Write for you." to her. She even manages to invade her dreams at night.
One day while looking for some press coverage for a client online, Anna makes a keystroke error and accidentally purchases more articles than what she needs. Knowing she may not have to purchase anything from that site in the near future and rather than contacting customer service for a refund, she starts typing in names of people she knows that live in the area to see if they've made the news recently. Without understanding why, she types in the name of her father, Paul Matteo, who was murdered gangland style two decades before. Anna is surprised to find articles, 37 of them, relating to her father, twenty years after his death. Even more surprising is the content of the articles. What information is this mob enforcer claiming to have on her dad? Could her father have been taken out by the mob for failure to pay a debt? Why was no one ever convicted of his murder? Anna, who at the time of his murder chose to avoid the trials and press coverage, is now plagued by these questions. Just who was her father anyway? Anna sets out on a quest to find out about her father's past and in doing so is forced to delve back into the days of her childhood where she ends up learning multitudes about herself in the process.
"Painting the Invisible Man" is both touching and even humorous at times. I found myself rooting for Anna, hoping she not only discovered who her father was, but found herself and her own happiness as well. Rita Schiano has proven herself to be a powerful, talented storyteller.