Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goodnight, Brian: a novel by Steven Manchester, ©2013

Back Cover
Fate was working against little Brian Mauretti. The food that was meant to nourish him was poisoning him instead, and the doctors said the damage was devastating and absolute. Fate had written off Brian. But fate didn't count on a woman as determined as Brian's grandmother, Angela DiMartino - who everyone knew as Mama. Loving her grandson with everything she had, Mama endeavored to battle fate. Fate had no idea what it was in for.
   An emotional tale about the strength of family bonds, unconditional love, and the perseverance to do our best with the challenging gifts we receive, Goodnight, Brian is an uplifting tribute to what happens when giving up is not an option.

My Review
After reading and reviewing Steven Manchester's novel, Twelve Months, I was interested in reading his next novel, Goodnight, Brian. Steven writes a living story.
"God knows...and that's enough."
Winter 1976. Join Mama in her kitchen amid the aroma of fresh baked bread and sweet Italian sausages, and you are home! Angela DiMartino ... and her homemade red gravy ~ mama mia! ~ I want one of her welcoming hugs, garlic scented "perfume" and all!
   She has arriving company; her daughter, Joan, her husband, Frank, and young son, Ross. Mama, flour on her apron, grabs that little grandson up and smooches him as much as he tried to dodge, but he loves it! Soon he is going to have a little brother or sister. Waiting.
   Next to arrive is Joan's brother, Bob, and sister-in-love, Bev, and her two nieces, Steph and Heidi. We're all home. Time to eat! Mama lives near the end of the large houses, a couple blocks over from the winterland of Narragansett Bay, in a small winterized all-season cottage. Mama means "home."
http://www.newenglandsite.com/riphotos/narragansett-seal.jpg   Life is going on as usual; there is a lot of love and teasing here. [I couldn't take anymore! I just put Italian sausages to defrost in the microwave; to get my cook pot ready for delicious crushed tomato and spaghetti with garlic, Italian seasoning and extra basil... homemade cheese bread warming in the oven. I am ready.]
   Wouldn't you know it! I missed all the action. Brian Francis Mauretti has been born.
   Mama teaches her grandchildren what being family is as winter turns to spring and spring turns to summer. Brian watches and mimics them and has a wonderful grin to the delight of all. Summer turns to fall and winter is here again. Mama, Joan, and Bev take the children to Little Italy on the train.
"Christmas music played all day, rotating between Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Bing Crosby. And even after her husband had passed, she still hung lights outside - in the snow and the bay's freezing winds. All of this, however, seemed no more than a prelude to her annual pilgrimage to the old neighborhood." Goodnight, Brian, page 98
The sights, sounds, and smells ~*~ I can take in them all! The North End ~ Little Italy becomes alive. From one end of Hanover Street to the abandoned old restaurant at the other end named Lucia's with the apartment house above, memories are alive as Mama shares love and a life growing up together in the neighborhood. These generations have not missed out, as Mama has passed on her life at Lucia's in all of who she is.
   Little Brian develops as each one spends time with him. So much they are learning about love beyond themselves! [Mr. Manchester, tears as I experience each joy with the family! What a beautiful story of life and perSERVErance ~ my very word for 2013!] Love ignites what natural man cannot. Love is in charge here.
“Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:8)
Goodnight, Brian is very well written in each heart as life happens and love triumphs.
* * *

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), the heart-warming prequel to Goodnight, Brian (release date, January 8, 2013); 
Pressed Pennies; Jacob Evans; The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy; and the Rockin' Chair (April 2013). His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
   When not spending time with his wife, Paula, and his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: www.StevenManchester.com

***Thank you to author Steven Manchester for sending me a copy of Goodnight, Brian to review in my own words.***

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