The Black Madonna: Una Storia di Famigliaby Louisa Ermelino
Teresa, whose son Nicky should never have walked again after his four-story fall, keeps a holy card of the Black Madonna hidden beneath her
The Black Madonna has long protected her mountain villagers in southern Italy, and some say she followed her people to America. What else explains the magic and miracles on Spring Street in Little Italy over the decades?
Teresa, whose son Nicky should never have walked again after his four-story fall, keeps a holy card of the Black Madonna hidden beneath her underwear. Magdalena, beautiful and mysterious, can make any man fall in love with her, including her stepson Salvatore, by praying secretly to an image of the Black Madonna in her attic. And Antoinette, after giving birth to five girls, had Jumbo, the biggest baby Spring Street ever saw -- once she had the Black Madonna's portrait in her kitchen.
Vibrant, dark-souled creatures who get their way, control their lives, and pass on arcane knowledge like family heirlooms from generation to generation, Teresa, Magdalena, and Antoinette, with their intersecting lives, take center stage in The Black Madonna. This is an exploration of how each woman, and her beloved son, is forever changed by the Madonna of Viggiano. Louisa Ermelino's wonderful novel reveals a delicious truth: that it is the Italian-American women who hold the secrets -- and the power -- from the "other side," and that they know how to use them.
A celebration of mother love and magic, The Black Madonna is filled with the sights, sounds, smells, and taste of Little Italy. Ultimately, it is a vibrant and life-affirming saga that all Americans will want to embrace as their own.
- Simon & Schuster
- Publication date:
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- SIMON & SCHUSTER
- NOOK Book
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- 341 KB
Meet the Author
Louisa Ermelino is the Reviews Director at Publishers Weekly and author of the novels Joey Dee Gets Wise, The Black Madonna, and The Sisters Mallone. She lives in New York City with her husband, Carlo Cutolo, and daughters Ruby, Lucy and Ariane.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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FEELS LIKE I AM BACK AT MY GRANDMOTHERS ON THOMPSON STREET. LOUISA SURE KNOWS HER STUFF. GREAT READING ..I BOUGHT A COPY FOR ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WOULD ENJOY IT, UNDERSTAND IT , AND THE THOSE WHO WISH THEY COULD HAVE LIVED IT. GOOD LUCK TO A GREAT WRITER....
Louisa really brought the characters to life in her book, The Black Madonna. Growing up in New York I could relate to these characters and could adapt them to the characters in my own life. At times I laughed out loud. Her description of the neighboorhood and the Italian culture is dead on. I read the book in two days and was disapointed when it was over.
Maybe I loved it so much because I lived on Spring St. I went to Al & Sam's candy store every night for an eggcream. (Al was actually my Godmother's brother). So many places in the book are for real. I knew these Mothers and their sons, not literally of course, but they all exist in an Italian neighborhood. I couldn't put it down. I kept reading excerpts to my husband. He is from the same neighborhood and also charged his lunch in Virginia's store. I laughed so hard at the meeting between Jumbo and his in-laws. This was all so real to me. Please, Louisa, write another.
this is the best book i have read in a long time. It brings back so many memories of growing up in little italy in nyc. I can just picture my mom and her friends conversing in the same mannner as the characters in the story. Once you pick it up it's impossible to put down. I found myself reading it aloud to my husband and family becuase I wanted to share familiar expressions and experiences with them. Read it, you won't be sorry.
I bought the book on Wednesday and finished it the next day. I'm of Irish heritage raised in an Italian neighborhood. I knew these women and I knew their sons,too. You,Louisa are a wonderful story teller. Thank you for taking me away from the real world.
Ermelino has truly brought to life the real characters of her story. Well written and interesting to the last word, her story has brought back many memories for me. Her description of characters and their devotion to the Black Madonna is so real that I had nearly lost the memories I once shared with family members now gone. Thank you for such a wonderful book that even ones who do not share Italian heritage can enjoy this book and share with ones who have lived some of Ermelino's written word.