Lombardi, Roseann, "Until I Smile At You". Two Harbors, 2010.
Love, Tragedy and Human Forbearance
I love a good love story and a family love story is a big plus. Here is a tale of perfect love and a family and the book contains themes of compassion, betrayal and struggle as well as strength. It is the story of how the human spirit can overcome odds. The story is tender and the real hero is a woman, Anna, who loved everything even through adversity. The author writes about her mother who has a crippling disease and shows how love was the most important thing to her. Anna Lauro was a victim of Multiple Sclerosis and this caused the end of her career as a fashion model. She believed faithfully in the power of the medical profession even though there were no cures for her illness. She loved her husband Tony who loved her, in turn and he was totally devoted to her. Eventually Anna was taken to Willowbrook, a New York hospital and was exiled from her family and from life as we know it but she continues to hope and she even risked herself to help someone who was worse off than she was. This is a weeper but there is great catharsis here. Your troubles will seem very small with what you read here. Yet what you read will affect you for days to come when you finish the book.
With a title taken from Frank Sinatra's song, "Until I Smile at You," the daughter of Anna Lauro and Tony Lombardi, Roseann Lombardi, has written the story of her parents, set in Long Island, New York, in the 1940s. It unfolds as the young couple, Anna and Tony, are on their way to Mayo Clinic in Minnesota to gain answers to Anna's ever-increasing health problems. Anna and Tony meet just prior to World War II. Both are Italian-Americans, although Anna's family is presented … more
Until I Smile At You, by Roseann Lombardi is not the sort of book I usually read. It is a tragedy, and it is also a true story. I generally read escapist fiction. And I avoid sad or suspenseful or horror or human misery tales whenever I can. So, I am not what you might call a typical fan of the genre, or a reader who would be approaching this story with a mindset willing to overlook the genre staples or common themes that run in these types of stories, if they are cliche or cringe worthy. So, … more
This book is both charming and heartbreaking, and it constitutes the loving and lovely tribute of a daughter to her mother. The memoir reads like a novel, so if you enjoy reading long sections of narrative, this probably won't be your favorite type of memoir. However, if stories of real life (and believe me, this is real life at its most brutal and most poignant) inspire you--however messy they may be--this one's for you. An enjoyable read. Keep the tissue handy!
Until I Smile At You by Roseann Lombardi is, above all, a story of remembrance. A true story, Lombardi is telling the tale of the great love, and even greater tragedy, that enveloped her parents when she was a child. She is also paying tribute to the mother that she was never really able to get to know and who disappeared from her life far too early. The story begins when Anna and Tony, Roseann's parents, are on a trip to find out the cause of the health problems she has been … more
Until I Smile at Youis a family love story. Roseann Lombardi provides a poignant tale of heartache and hope in the coming together of two fiercely proud Italian-American families on Long Island, New York, in the 1940s. The author's true account is enhanced by her dreams, reflections, and recollections from her childhood in the 1950s. Lombardi's tender narrative not only exposes human frailty and the lifelong consequences of decisions, but also deftly lays bare the disparate features of loyalty, forgiveness, and redemption.