ROUGH PEACE is about family--about it as an institution. Is it viable these days, or are we destined to live our lives as loners? Or are our families--and the agonies they bequeath us--all we ever truly have? ROUGH PEACE is a sweeping, character-driven family saga. The three intricately interwoven story lines span a good part of the twentieth century, taking us from Sunnyside to southern Italy. It is filled with sparkling darkness, colorful characters, attention to detail and subtle deification of the ordinary person who has to reach deep to overcome catastrophic emotional loss. ROUGH PEACE is very much a literary novel, yet written in a generous everyman's prose. It extracts every drop of blood from seemingly everyday moments.
In 1950's Sunnyside Queens, working class Anna marries the boy next door, Douglas, a brilliant, handsome but uncertain young man. Doug's family is WASP, educated, intellectual, staunchly American. Anna's people are Italian Catholic immigrants, domestic with no formal education. Doug and Anna's nine-year old son Ricky takes us through gritty 1970's New York. And then as an adolescent and young man he seeks to dig up the roots of his families turmoil and his father's alcoholism and tragic death. In 1914 Italy nine-year old Enzo waits for his father to return from America. His mother has an affair with a priest and is murdered by her own father as Enzo witnesses the horrific act. Young Enzo escapes to America and sets himself on a tragic course until his grandson Ricky redeems the family, finding compassion for his forebears and ultimately a rough peace.