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.
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
Lombardi, Roseann, "Until I Smile At You". Two Harbors, 2010. Love, Tragedy and Human Forbearance Amos Lassen 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 … more
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
Hi! It's nice to meet you here! If you enjoy my writing, you may be interested in reading my memoir, Tainted Legacy. Some years ago I discovered a family secret: My great-grandmother, Bertha Gifford, … more
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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.