Brooklyn Roses: Cathy Gigante Brown
The Paradiso family is once again at the center of this novel. Flashbacks begin with memories of Tiger and Terry’s upcoming wedding, Scully and Rose remind of Poppa and Bridget, Rose’s parents who were the bark on the tree of the branches that kept the family strong and together. Each family member had his/her own strength and contribution making this family unit tight and cohesive. Centering around this are memories of the times that roses played an important part in events. Chapter One sets the stage for why these Roses were important and my Bridget’s were the ones that thrived for generations and years to come and those named for that flower, her daughter Rosanna, her granddaughter Chiara Rose and her son David Rosario.
Sunday dinners were part of the mainstay of this family and each Sunday one family hosted the Family dinner. Huge preparations were made, food trays and the amount of food could have fed ten families or more and the love that goes into preparations priceless. Teresa and Tiger are hosting this next Sunday dinner. Everyone was required to attend, and each female member would bring a dish. The closeness is felt but there is an air of uncertainty that surrounds Stan who seems to feel not fully apart of this family that he was adopted into. Never making him feel less than a member, and close to his cousin Wendy, you can feel the love between them even though neither one wants to accept the truth.
Stan is a chef working alongside George and Tiger who own the business that seems to be expanding throughout the city. He even helps his Uncle Augie at the movie theater when needed. Nothing like seeing the latest releases and working there at the same time. But he has a rebellious side and seems to have aligned himself with Big Paulie a mobster.
Creating a family that everyone would want as their own we learn of their hopes, dreams and even imperfections. Stan Sullivan is at first a flawed character whose mother left him on a doorstep, and he was lucky to be adopted by Rose and Sully yet never feeling comfortable and wanting to cling to something from his past. His parents died at an early age and his mother called The Yellow Queen roamed the streets and died in his arms learning who she was and her real name Denise. The love his family gave him at times was not enough and his dealings with Big Paulie might have taken it all away. But the night he and Marty were supposed to help heist some diamonds delivered in a crate at Idlewild airport the shock when they saw what the shipment really was doubled them over and sent Big Paulie ranting and in a rage. But would they be finally rid of him?
Stan and Morty /aka Len became true friends and Feel Good Food would have another worker and part of their family.
Sherman , Connecticut was the newest location that Tiger and George thought might be the next perfect location for another branch.
Not everyone is immune to strife and unhappiness as Rose and Scully must face a medical crisis but the love, dedication of her doctors brings her hope and sine comfort. Terry is struggling with having her next child, Stan is torn between finally committing to Wendy or drifting off on his own . He and Len meet the most wonderful person, Mrs. Simpson and his culinary skills wins her over. Granny Lulu is a great character keeping Len focused in the right direction and meeting Amy at Mrs. Simpson’s might bring him more joy than he ever expected.
Lives intertwined, family secrets revealed three young children, twins and Chiara bringing hope, laughter and respect when dealing with their aunts, uncles, and family, leading us to want this family’s values and more as a model for others today.
Hidden beneath the surface and their scents and beauty for everyone to appreciate are the stars of this outstanding novel by award winning author, Cathy Gigante Brown, the beauty created by Grandma Bridget and lasting more than a lifetime, the Brooklyn Roses. A final scene that will bring tears to your eyes, hope in your hearts and wondering what the future might hold for this family as the author brings the Saga to a final close. Where will life take Chiara? What about the twins and the new baby, Mike? Where will the next generation be and will they carry on in the tradition of the family. George and Elaine, Scully and Rose, Tiger and Terry and the memory of Michel and Bridget will linger in the hearts and minds for readers long after you turn the last page and read the final words in the Coda.
Fran Lewis: just reviews