by Anna Lawton
-Historical, Women's Fiction
Release date: March 28, 2017
Amazon | Publisher
Amy’s Story unfolds on the background of American history, from the late 60’s up until 2011, and takes us through the timeline of how Italian-native Amy (full name, America) creates her success story.
Amy experiences love, heartbreak, friendship, obstacles, success, and more as she moves from Italy to New York City to live by her American father. Following in her father’s footsteps, Amy becomes a successful publisher. Her story intertwines with the story of Stella, her childhood friend, whose unfinished memoir she intends to publish. As Amy edits the manuscript, it is Stella’s story that readers follow as she leaves Italy with her American lover, Jim, a heartthrob who conceals his sensitive nature under a bravado façade, and goes through career achievements and setbacks, and a heartbreaking love story.
Her journey runs parallel to major American historical events―the Vietnam War, student protests and the Kent State shooting, the birth of radicalism and feminism, presidential elections and assassinations, immigration, the Watergate scandal, up to the 9/11 attack and beyond― providing an interesting commentary on the facts that influenced the development of American society over the past 40 years and brought about the current outcome.
Other minor, but captivating, characters complete the picture and sustain the action: Steve, Stella’s husband, conformist and uninspiring; Nik, a passionate and extravagant Russian intellectual; Rosa, once a maid at Amy’s grandmother’s country estate and now married to the owner of a New York pizzeria; and others.
Stella's memoir never gets published, because Amy transforms it into a very successful novel.
This twist will have readers reimagining the entire story and Amy and Stella’s tale will remain with them for a long time.
Excerpt: Chapter 1
New York, September 2001
“Mulberry and Canal, please.”
The cabbie looks at her in the rearview mirror while the car pulls off into the Broadway traffic.
“Are you a tourist?”
“No, I’m a New Yorker.”
“But you were not born in New York?”
This puts her off. This really puts her off. Thirty plus years in this country and they still pick up traces of her Italian accent.
Traces, mind you. It’s practically all gone.
“Were you?” she asks, staring at the prayer beads dangling from the mirror. There is a note of irritation in her voice. The mirror sends back to her the liquid gaze of two dark eyes, now slightly sweetened with the hint of a smile.
“None of my business, miss. Just trying to make conversation.”
Okay, he wants to be friendly. Let’s be friendly.
“So, where are you from?”
Image association. Amy sees flashes of Soviet tanks roaming the country, ambushes on mountain passes, destroyed cities and villages—the footage she used to see in the news twenty years ago. Then, she recalls recent humanitarian appeals for women executed in sport fields, their burkas looking like the hoods of witches burnt at the stake in medieval times.