In Revere, In Those Days: A Novel

Merullo, Roland

Published by Crown
ISBN 10: 0609610325 / ISBN 13: 9780609610329
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Synopsis: This is the story of the Benedetto family, hardworking Italian Americans from Revere, Massachusetts, a small city on the coastline just north of Boston. Anthony Benedetto is our narrator—introspective and colorful—a smart, good kid born in this country who is trying to figure out how to reconcile his family’s rich, old-world heritage with the unstoppable freight train that is America and American culture.

What Anthony creates for us is an unspoiled America of forty years ago: the feeling of being part of an extended family of grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins; the feeling of being surrounded by an intense loyalty and vibrant warmth that extend into the neighborhood and the community. Fixing place, time, and sensibilities with uncanny accuracy and grace, Anthony introduces us to unforgettable men and women who struggle toward decency and kindness, and who live out their difficult lives with an extraordinary dignity.

When Anthony’s parents are tragically killed, the Benedetto family pulls him out of the swamp of despair with a desperate, old-world love. As the New World calls to him, he gradually grows up and away from Revere but finds that it is as much a part of him as his eye color and the size of his hands. His eventual realizations—that geography is destiny, that suffering is universal, and that he is able to pass on, to his own children, the priceless Benedetto inheritance of warmth and caring—form the essence of who he becomes as a man.

The Benedetto family’s story, a tale of sorrow, hope, and redemption, gives us a lost America and a fading Italian American culture that lie beyond the clichés. In Revere, In Those Days is a hauntingly beautiful novel by a graceful and extremely talented writer.

From the Back Cover: “This coming-of-age novel is so true that it has the authenticity of a memoir. It will, I think, be compared—and favorably—to A Separate Peace. I admired the loving portrait of working-class Revere, the pitch-perfect dialogue and the entirely believable way that life manages to shift from humor to pathos in an instant. His creation of Uncle Peter is nothing short of brilliant. I can’t remember the last time I was moved to tears by a novel in the way that I was, at several junctures, with In Revere, In Those Days. It is an extraordinary achievement.” —Anita Shreve, author of The Pilot’s Wife and The Weight of Water

“Most writers begin with their coming-of-agers, but Merullo was wise to wait. His artistic maturity gives us a tale of sentiment without sentimentality as he conveys the inevitability of loss and the divisions of class with sadness but not bitterness. Emotionally complex, politically intelligent, beautifully written: among the best from a novelist in the classic American tradition.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“A beautiful story—told with the compelling voice of a writer who is willing to approach the enormous question of redemption, and does so with truthfulness and striking decency.”—Elizabeth Strout, author of Amy and Isabelle

“Roland Merullo’s beautifully written new coming-of-age novel, In Revere, In Those Days, is a clear-eyed and compassionate fictional memoir of family, place, and first love, squarely in the tradition of such American masterworks as Richard Russo’s Empire Falls and Kent Haruf’s Plainsong.”—Howard Frank Mosher, author of The Fall of the Year

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Title: In Revere, In Those Days: A Novel
Publisher: Crown
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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Merullo, Roland
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