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Blanche F. Lord
Blanche F. Lord
Blanche F. Lord...Author
When wealthy Milanese merchant Antonio Vecchi dies accidentaly at an early age in the 1960's, he leaves behind him a legacy of deception. Thirty years later in the United States, Antonio's family is enmeshed in a web of secrets that peerpetuates his deceit.
Set in the wealthy northern suburbs of Westchester County and in New York City, Chasing Cobwebs spans the lives of three generations of Italian-American women.
Antonio's duaghter, Marianna Vecchi Marin, lives in her own fantasy world. She romanticizes her relationship with her philandering husband, Keith, and has disconnected from her two children. Matthew an eighteen year old high school senior, has not yet told his parents that he has no intention of going to college. Sizteen year old Kaitlin is showing troubling signs of morning sickness.
Is Marianna's suburban life as ideal as she imagines it to be, or is it fraught with falsehoods that only be dispelled by revealing family secrets?
The contrast in upbringing between the grandmother, Sophia, who was brought up in a poverty stricken post World War II village in the mountains overlooking Naples and her two daughters, is striking.
Her eldest daughter, Annamaria, a renowned opera singer lives in an east side penthouse in Manhattan and Marianna, the suburban homemaker, enjoys a three acre estate and Italian style garden..all part of Marianna's "perfect" life that she has romanticized beyond belief.
When Marianna's fantasy about her perfect life is shattered by her cheating husband, Sophia and Annamaria come to Marianna's aid. In the three months following the break-up of her marriage, Marianna must begin to understand the reasons for her inability to face reality. With the help of her sister, mother,son and daughter, Marianna is able to unravel the dark secrets that have caused a rift between family members. Once these secrets are revealed, Marianna can begin to mend her relationships with her teenage children, gain closure with her errant husband, and embark on a new life as an independent and realistic woman.
"Iam the most well loved woman in the world," Marianna Vecchi Marin said aloud while walking on the cobbled path throuh her not-yet blooming garden. Then in a whisper, she said the phrase again.
Upon reaching the back door of her 1840 modernized white colonial home in the northern suburbs of New York City, she entered the kitchen where she found her son, Matthew, recently eighteen and her daughter, Kaitlin, sixteen, preparing their dinner.
"I'm going up to take my bath now," Marianna said.
"Yeah right," Matthew replied.
Kaitlin looked the other way and said nothing to her mother. Marianna started up the back stairs to her bedroom thinking only about the gourmet dinner she had prepared for her husband, Keith,
the dress she would wear and the promise of an intimate finale to a perfectly prepared romantic night. She did not notice her daughter's hostility or her son's sarcastic tone.
"Chasing Cobwebs is an absorbing contemporary family drama with richly drawn characters whose lives span three generations of Italian-American culture and influences. The webs they weave, not always meant to deceive, are nonetheless true to their personalities. The reader gets to know them well and cares about what hapens to each of them, even to the two-timing husband, Keith." Great story"--Beth Bruno, author of "Wild Tulips."
"Chasing Cobwebs concerns a beautiful, narcissistic woman whose romantic fantasies of a perfect married life are shattered when her unfaithful husand leaves her after a twenty-year marriage. She must block out reality in an effort to cope with long-held secrets finally revealed by her Italian-American family. An absorbing psychological drama"--Jerry Labriola, M.D. author of "The Maltese Murders"
Reviewed by Danielle Feliciano for Reader Views:
"Chasing Cobwebs" is an engrossing tale of Marianna Vecchi Marin and her family, both past and present. In her present family, she is the disconnected mother of eighteen-year-old Matthew and sixteen-year-old Kaitlin. She is also the wife to Keith, who is unfaithful to Marianna. Marianna lives in her own fantasy land where the troubles of realitly simply do not exist. She plays elaborate games with her husband in order to pretend that their marriage is still alive. She barely pays attention to her children and feels that it is best that they learn to fend for themselves.
Marianna is dealt a huge blow when her husband leaves her. As much as she resists, Marianna is finally forced to face reality and realize that her fantasy land does not exist. In order to come to terms with her current life, she begins to explore her past as the daughter of a wealthy mearchant from Milan, Antonio Vecchi. Antonio has left a legacy of lies and deceit to all who survived him. Marianna begins to untangle the webs her father weaved and finds a way out.
"Chasing Cobwebs" is well-written and very engrossing. The drama and dynamics make this book hard to put down. While I found myself pitying Marianna more than I liked her, the book overall was well worth the read..
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