Reviewed by Laurette Folk
Lost Hearts by Vincent Panella, Apollo’s Bow, 2010, 226 p. $15.95
Review by Laurette Folk
I read with Vincent Panella back in December at IAM Books in the North End of Boston and bought his book. In all truth, I was not prepared for the powerful punch this book packed.
Lost Hearts is a spectacular short story collection mostly about the life of Charlie Marino, his boyhood, his coming of age, his intimate relationships, marriages, infidelity, Catholic guilt, aging parents, and so on. Panella captures the hungers, the idiosyncrasies, the food, the banter, and overall Italian-American familial allegiances and dysfunction in this collection. This isn’t The Godfather; this is raw truth about the mediocrities of Italian-American life in 1950s/60s Brooklyn and beyond and how one of our own makes his way into the world. In this collection, we witness deep human truths astutely expressed by a master of his craft. Panella can easily be compared to John Cheever or John Updike with his biting realism.