The Family Angel by Loretta Giacoletto

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A sequel and partial parallel to Chicago's Headmistress. Comparable to 450 pages, this 60-year saga of romance, deception, and crime reveals the Americanization of an Italian family, from immigrant bootleggers and coalminers to proud winemakers and ambitious Vatican priests, but only a chosen few will encounter the chameleon-like Black Angel who shows up when least expected to offer advice or merely observe. After all, there’s only so much one family angel can be expected to do.

Petty bootleggers Carlo Baggio and his brother Jake are enjoying the good life in 1925 Prohibition Chicago until Carlo enters into an arranged marriage with a bride from Italy and Jake gets run out of town for cheating on the boss’s daughter. In the aftermath Carlo takes a bullet for Jake and is ready to cash in his chips until a black angel Carlo dubs Angelo Nero convinces him otherwise. Later Angelo Nero comes to Carlo’s rescue when he’s trapped in a house fire. For the next fifty years the Baggio brothers and their families will experience hardship, tragedy, rewards, and the unwelcomed honor of Carlo’s son becoming a priest.

When Angelo Nero finally returns, it is to visit Carlo’s grandson Frank, the only survivor of a multi-fatality accident. The life-altering experience prompts Frank to follow his uncle into the priesthood. Eventually, with help from the uncle, Frank winds up in Rome, training for the prestigious Vatican Diplomatic Corps. He encounters the angel again, along with a mysterious warning. Later, while awaiting his first post, Frank becomes involved with a secret society within the Vatican that assigns him the task of delivering a renegade-priest to Romepreferably laid out in a coffin. Frank’s covert mission brings him back to the family farm in Illinois and to his grandfather Carlo. Angelo Nero shows up too. But neither Carlo nor the angel can help Frank choose between the diplomatic career he has coveted for years or sparing the life of a priest defying Catholic tradition.
The Family Angel will appeal to fans of The Roaring Twenties, The Roaring Twenties, The Prohibition Era, The Great Depression, and WWII fiction.

About Loretta Giacoletto

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Loretta Giacoletto divides her time between the St. Louis Metropolitan area and Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks where she concentrates on writing fiction and essays for her blog Loretta on Life while her husband cruises the waters for bass and crappie. Their five children have left the once chaotic nest but occasionally return for her to-die-for ravioli and roasted peppers topped with garlic-laden bagna cāuda. An avid traveler, she has visited numerous countries in Europe and Asia but Italy remains her favorite, especially the area from where her family originates: the Piedmont region near the Italian alps.Loretta's novels are filled with bawdy characters caught up in problems they must suffer the consequences for having created. In LETHAL PLAY a grieving widow is suspected of killing her son's coach, a man with more enemies than friends. FAMILY DECEPTIONS follows two generations of earthy characters who learn to thrive and/or survive through a series of misdeeds, the worst against those they love the most. FREE DANNER features a cynical young man whose troubled past and deadly encounters hinder his search for the father he has yet to meet. THE FAMILY ANGEL is an Italian/American saga about the Americanization of an immigrant family of bootleggers, coalminers, winemakers and priests, and a mysterious black angel who enjoys sticking his nose in the family business. CHICAGO'S HEADMISTRESS, a prequel and partial parallel to THE FAMILY ANGEL, follows a 1905 Italian street urchin's notorious rise to wealth and power as the headmistress of Night School, Prohibition Chicago's most popular and innovative men's club in the 1920s. Loretta is also the author of A COLLECTION OF GIVERS AND TAKERS, an anthology of twisted stories about the good, the bad, the self-centered and the disillusionedIn addition to the horror anthologies, Damned in Dixie and Hell in the Heartland, Loretta's short stories have appeared in a number of publications including The MacGuffin, Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, The Scruffy Dog Review, Allegory and Literary Mama, which nominated her story "Tom" for Dzanc's 2010 Best of The Web.
Published September 13, 2011 by Marelwood Publishing. 391 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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