On December 1, 1958, a devastating blaze at Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago took the lives of ninety-two children, shattering a close-knit Italian neighborhood. In this eloquent novel, set nearly a decade later, twenty-year-old Anthony Lazzeri struggles with survivor’s guilt, which is manifested through conflicted feelings about his own body. Complicating his life is a retired detective’s dogged belief that Anthony was involved in the setting of the fire.
Tony Romano’s delicate handling of Anthony’s journey is deeply moving, exploring the complex psychological toll such an event has on those involved, including families…and an entire community. This multi-faceted tale follows Anthony’s struggles to come to terms with how the events of that day continue to affect him and those around him. Aided by a sometime girlfriend, a former teacher, and later his parents—after long buried family secrets are brought into the open—he attempts to piece together a life for himself as an adult.