In Sofia's Tune, we meet Sofia Falcone, a young woman who has been living in New York only a short time when she is stunned to discover a family secret, one that soon sends her beloved mother into a mental institution. Scrambling to keep her job and care for her mother, Sofia is convinced confronting the past will heal all wounds, but her old world Italian family wants to keep the past in the past.
During this time, she encounters Antonio, a Vaudeville pianist with a street-smart dog, seeking to discover why his father was mysteriously killed. Their crossed paths uncover a frightening underworld in Little Italy. Bringing the truth to light may cost Sofia's mother's sanity, Antonio's career, and the livelihoods of countless immigrants. Change is on the horizon, but it may not bring what they expect.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.93(d)|
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Best book in the series so far. I think this has been the best book in the series, and oh what sad stories! I was pulled into this book right from the beginning. Cindy did a wonderful job and if you are not touched by the lives of Sofia and Antonio, especially Sofia's, then I don't know what will pull at your heartstrings. Grab a copy and get ready for a very good story with a touch of mystery to it.
Family Comes First Historical fiction of any kind is my favorite reading material. I am obsessed with history and I love it when an author can make events of the past seem even more real to me by placing a fictional character in those events (even if it is just daily life) and allowing me to experience the past through their eyes. When I can be placed within several different families in different circumstances, yet still somehow connected by invisible threads we only learn about later, I find a book that I happily place on my keeper shelf to be read and savored again. This is primarily a book about family; we all come from somewhere and, for good or bad, that changes us. Family can be both the best resource and the biggest hardship to its members. It also explores the idea of making our own family from a larger community, a family of choice to help and support us when the family we are born into somehow lets us down. Secrets play a role in this story on several levels, both within the family dynamic and among the community. “The Family” comes first, before any of its individual members, so secrets are kept for protection of all and family loyalty takes precedence above all else. But what happens when someone within the family needs to know the truth? And what if that truth irreparably harms another member of the family when it is revealed? This is the no-win scenario this historical novel portrays in a convincing and sometimes heartrending manner. Historical detail makes this novel richer than it would be if placed in another time or location. The immigrant communities face a far different set of circumstances than their American counterparts and that makes this book a unique reading experience. Not having come from a family deeply rooted in another culture, it is a fascinating look at the difficulties experienced by those trying to assimilate into America even as they attempt to maintain their identity from their former home. It also provides some insight into the treatment of those who experienced mental illness in the past and explores some of the stigma and the often barbaric treatment of those who suffered with various ailments. While the doctors and nurses of the time surely meant well as a whole, the suffering of those who underwent the treatments of the day is horrifying, even without going into graphic detail. Faith is an important part of Sofia’s support system, both in the Catholic faith she grows up in and those who love and provide for her in the Christ’s name from the Protestant characters. It is refreshing to enjoy a novel without having to choose a “side” or finding one or the other vilified because of differing theology. The novel is a bit of a slow starter but keep at it, because the characters had me so engaged later that I was fully hooked! Although this is the third book in the Ellis Island series, it can be read as a standalone novel. I would recommend it to those interested in historical New York, immigration in general and Italy specifically, or those who enjoy all things musical. The mystery is well-written and for readers who like animals, Lu is the best fictional dog I have had the pleasure of encountering. Due to one instance of mild cursing and some violence (nothing gets graphic), I would suggest it is best suited to mature teens and up. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for the honest review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.
If you love turn of the century (20th) historical fiction, this is for you... Sofia's Tune Ellis Island #3 By Cindy Thomson The past is best left to the past - that's what Sofia's family believes and the secrets of the past are destroying her Mamma's mind. A tragedy kept hidden for 19 years has shaped the Falcone family, following them from their old life in Italy to their new life in New York. And when an old photograph is discovered new questions arise - plaguing Sofia with what ifs. But 1903 New York is not the land of promise many had dreamed of as Antonio Baggio has discovered. His father was dead and there are questions that no one seems willing or able to answer about his death. When Sofia and Antonio's quests bring them together little do they realize the changes that will result. Both in their own lives and in lives of those around them. Sofia's a world quite different from our own - one doesn't share their problems with every stranger who happens by. In fact problems and troubles were not even discussed with family and close friends. So when Sofia was brought into the world outside of Little Italy asking for help from those who lived in Hawkins House and were associated with Mrs. Hawkins and the Benevolents. But sometimes we have to ask for help, it isn't a sign of weakness, insufficiency, or a betrayal. And when Sofia admits that she needs help her world begins to change for the better and she truly starts to become an American by adding what she was being offered to what she already was. Those who read the previous Ellis Island books will be delighted to know that Annie and Grace are in this book as well - though they are supporting characters. But it is nice to see how their lives have progressed. You can read Sofia's Tune as a standalone book but if you want a well rounded awareness of Annie, Grace, Mrs Hawkins take time to read Grace's Pictures and Annie's Stories. This book, unlike the previous two, focuses on the Italian immigrant community rather than the Irish community. Who knew that the region of Italy one was from was so important in how one was accepted or rejected among the immigrants. And one last observation don't you just love the cover - Luigi is the dog and he plays a fairly important part throughout the whole book. (And for those who want to know - he makes it through the whole book) I was provided an advance proof of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
Sofia's Tune is the third installment to the Ellis Island series. Right from the beginning, I was hooked in Sofia's story. There is, also, a main character that is on four legs. Who wouldn't love a furry main character? I really enjoyed this book and loved catching up with Grace and Annie from the other installments of the series. Highly recommended. 5 plus stars.