Siri Mitchell tells a good story. I've found myself immersed in her novels, picturing and smelling just what she is describing. I've also found myself connecting with her characters. I'm not sure that Siri has a fiction-writing weakness.
In another historical, which have all been intriguing, Siri takes us to Boston during a time of unrest and upheaval. Italian immigrants have come to America, Spanish influenza is on the horizon, and war overshadows. Three young women take jobs in a dress designer's shop and live in the nearby tenements. Their unique and sometimes similar struggles play out on the pages.
Siri has chosen an omniscient point of view which is not my favorite. However, this novel reads almost like a fairy tale or morality tale. And I found it worked very well. The number of characters might seem overwhelming at first but the reader does get to know each of them and the story flows. The Italian spice and Catholic faith demonstrated through the life of the characters and their interactions add elements that enrich the story, too. As things were tied up it felt a tiny bit hurried but that's minor. One plot element didn't quite feel satisfyingly resolved, but again, that is minor. Read it, if nothing else, for pure escapism. Read it if you are a writer because Siri excels. Read it if you like a good fairy tale.
A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell is a historical romance with both depth and heart. Three very different Italian young woman work for famed dressmaker Madame Fortier in Boston at the end of World War I. Juliana Giordano revels in her beauty and wants romance in her life, and Angelo Moretti's smoldering brown eyes are filled with both romance and a hint of danger, making him much more attractive than Mauro Vitali, a doctor she's known most of her life. Annamaria Rossi is … more
Julietta enjoys flirting with boys and wishes she were American rather than an immigrant from southern Italy. Annamaria, from another town in the same area, is serious and devout, resigned to being the family drudge. Luciana, f�ted only child of the Count of Roma until his recent assassination, now goes in fear for her life, especially after glimpsing the anarchist near the shabby Boston tenement she and her grandmother now occupy. The three young women meet and share confidences over their work at Madame Fortier�s, the exclusive gownmaker whose most important client is the formidable Mrs. Quinn. Each girl battles prejudice in her own way, helping her family adapt and merge into the great American melting pot of cultures. Mitchell�s inspirational historical romance, set in 1918, skillfully contrasts the girls� traditional Italian-Catholic upbringing and the bustling, exuberant American lifestyle they crave, using the Great War and Spanish influenza pandemic as an effective backdrop to the young women�s first important steps in self-awareness on the way to adulthood. --Lynne Welch