In her inspiring and irresistibly funny first novel, Annette Appollo delivers a heart-warming story of reconciliation, redemption, love, and hope--of four friends reunited in the small town where they grew up.
"Viena qua. Ora." Come Here. Now. Hearing the whispered words, she feels her world, so carefully structured to shut out the sharp pain of closeness and intimacy, the world she shapes and reinforces every day, begin to fall down, as she hears the man she has loved her whole life tell her to come home. She knew that this day would come, but it is too soon, and she's not ready.
After more than thirty years, Gia Scarpino, a successful lawyer in San Francisco, is returning to the past, to the Pennsylvania coal town she escaped from after high school. Uncle Tony, the beloved padrino who raised and loved her with a ferocity that has protected her even to this day, lies dying, and Gia must now fulfill a long-held promise to be with him. But Tony isn't the only one who yearns to see her. Waiting, too, are the once-inseparable friends she left behind:
Willie, the handsome Irish boy whose tantalizing kisses consumed her--now a man of the cloth devoted to God;
Yoko, the class runt she saved from a sadistic nun--now a rich and successful entrepreneur to the surprise of everyone, mostly himself;
Barbara, the girlfriend with whom she shared milk and cigarettes, secrets and dreams--now a troubled alcoholic caught in a dead marriage.
When they first get together, it's as if they are teenagers again, wisecracking and raising hell as they did in tenth grade. But as the excitement of their reunion begins to fade, Gia sees that, while most things don't seem to have changed, both the town and her friends are different. Gia, too, isn't what she appears to be, for beneath her controlled, confident exterior is a bruised spirit scarred by heartbreak.
To come together, Gia, Willie, Yozo, and Barbara must heal their wounds and confront the old rivalries, long-held resentments, promises broken, and dreams forsaken that have haunted them through the years. And while the person she loves most in life is leaving her, Gia poignantly learns that love itself is far stronger than any separation, even death, for love can never be lost or forgotten once it has been shared.
By turns moving, funny, sad, and touching, Annette Appollo's The Last One Home is a profound story of truth and loyalty, of the bonds that shape us, sustain us, and ultimately uplift us--a moving tale to be treasured and remembered as it reminds us that there is no place like home.
Ah Tony, you never left anything to doubt, Gia thinks. I have learned so well from you. Tonight I understand better than I ever have before that I am your legacy. My deeds in this world are what you will leave behind...
She bends to kiss him good night, and she is filled to bursting with how much she loves him, how much he has given her, how strong his spirit is, how much she still wants to be like him. She is not ready to say good-bye to her godfather, but for the first time in her life, she realizes that they both have readied the way, that nothing is left unsaid, that he has been perfect in her life, and that she has become, indeed, the woman he wanted her to be, and that, perhaps more than savoring her own successes, that thought gives her peace and pleasure in a place within that belongs only to her and to the old man she loves.
-- from The Last One Home
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When Gia Scarpino left home for college, she and her three best friends, Barbara Arminavage, Yozo Walenticonis, and Willie Cunningham, promised to remain close. In high school, the four had been inseparable; Barbara, an optimistic dreamer, Yozo, the class underachiever, and Willie, Gia's first love. But Gia never returned, and their friendships withered. Now, 35 years later, Gia comes home to see her terminally ill Uncle Tony--and for the chance to reunite with old friends.
Though Gia is no longer the girl she once was, she is surprised by the changes in her friends. Yozo has formed an intimate friendship with Uncle Tony and is a wealthy and respected entrepreneur. Barbara has destroyed herself and her family with alcohol; while Willie, who had spent years holding on to hope for Gia's return, has become a priest. As the euphoria of their reunion wears off, the friends face the grim reality of their personal failures and the dangerous consequences of the dormant passions that linger between them.
Dust off your catechism, dig up your pasta machine, and prepare to be completely enveloped in the Italian Catholic culture of Annette Appollo's The Last One Home. Appollo's carefully developed characters and authentic touches bring this world to life, where quirky details and surreal moments prevent the danger of suffocation by nostalgia--and some predictable and not-so-predictable twists capture the reader's attention and heart. --Nancy R.E. O'BrienAbout the Author:
Annette Appollo was a successful attorney before leaving law to pursue a rich personal life. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800601920821.0
Book Description Harpercollins, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060192089