My new novel, The Ascent, will be published on May 1. It is a continuation of my book Between the Cracks: one woman's journey from Sicily to America. Many of the themes examined in the first novel are developed and explored in depth in The Ascent. For those of you who have not read Between the Cracks the themes include organized religion and organic spirituality, immigration, and the alchemy of natural disasters to name a few.
The theme of organized religion versus organic spirituality is explored in both novels. Catholicism underpins both books but the scaffolding of religion becomes unstable as we move into the mid 20th century. Angela Lanza, the protagonist, practices prudence and perseverance while she pursues her connection to the unseen world outside of the Catholic church. She also continued to attend mass every Sunday. The effect of organized religion on people's lives during the first half of the 20th century was profound and any questioning of their influence was discouraged.
The theme of immigration is weaved throughout the tapestry of the novel. Angela and her husband Frank Bellini both immigrate from Sicily during the early 20th century. We see their struggles in the new world and how they navigate American culture. Angela realizes assimilation is critical to her success. As she develops her dress making business she reaches out to every community in Nelsonville, the small town they settled in forty five minutes north of Manhattan. Her ability to reach out beyond the Italian immigrant community to include immigrants from other countries and Americans, positioned her as a woman of culture and sensibility.
Angela experiences the 1908 earthquake in Messina. This alchemical moment changes Angela's life forever and a new timeline begins. Through this natural disaster she looses her family, meets her husband, and moves to America where she influences three generations. This natural disaster propels her life in the new world and enhances her spiritual quest.
Accompany Angela Lanza as she builds her life in America during the first half of the 20th century. A Sicilian immigrant she manages to assimilate into the social life of a small town outside of New York City. Through the horrors of World War ll, domestic tragedy, and raising her sister-in-law’s children, she realizes a successful immigrant experience.
This novel is a continuation of the novel Between the Cracks: one woman’s journey from Sicily to America. It invites the reader to accompany Angela on her quest to transcend organized religion and develop her spirituality, influence three generations of Americans through a developed artistic sensibility and a sharpened intuition. The book parallels America's growth with Angela's increasing sense of who she is in the world.
The Ascent will be published on May 1, 2019. Preorder will be available. If you would like to join my mailing list for appearances and readings please visit my web site at www.ccattuticreative.com/carmela-cattuti-books.
About the Author
Author, artist, and teacher Carmela Cattuti created her novels as an homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt. Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.