Mario Puzo was born in New York and, following military service in World War II, attended New York's New School for Social Research and Columbia University. His best-known novel, The Godfather, has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. He has published several critically acclaimed novels including The Fortunate Pilgrim and The Sicilian. He has also written the screenplays for all three Godfather movies, for which he received two Academy Awards.
A young girl comes to New York from Italy to marry a man she hardly knows, thus beginning the saga of Lucia Santa and her two marriages, her five children, and her struggle to raise her family in Hell's Kitchen in the early 1900s. Her strength sustains her through troubles, tragedies, and the onslaught of American culture pitted against traditional Italian life. Puzo portrays the family and their development with insight in an engrossing narrative. The conflicts of the Old World and the New as experienced by the children bring both tragedy and happiness, tempered always by Lucia Santa's iron will. John Kenneth reads with gentle strength, pronouncing with fluid grace Italian phrases and names. His characterizations are subtle but effective, and through his emotional coloring of the text, the listener becomes involved in this family's story. Recommended for fiction collections.‘Melody A. Moxley, Rowan P.L., Salisbury, N.C.