Praise for Lost Hearts
Like pieces of a puzzle these stories long and short come together to give us a sense of baby boomer Charlie Marino's cycle of life — as a child, teen, young — and aging adult. With grit and not without some joy, Panella renders old country and city life in telling detail that captures life yesterday and today. In many ways, these stories belong to all who came of age in the 1950s and 60s, those of us with immigrant roots, who made our own ways and now are helping our parents out as we usher grandchildren in. Whether in the old country, the old neighborhood, or the suburban oasis, the reader is always at home and on edge simply because we are in the presence of a master storyteller.
– Fred Gardaphe Distinguished Professor of English, Queens College, and Author of From Wiseguys to Wise Men
A former newspaper reporter and freelance writer, Panella has the gift of modern prose, sensible and direct. Lost Hearts . . . will find the reader wanting to step back in time, side-by-side with Panella's characters, men and women that endear and repel us, that remind us of what it is to be an Italian-American. A fine collection of tales, written to the point of perfection by a true Italian-American, proud of his roots, warts and all, Lost Hearts calls to be included in every Italian American's library.
– PRIMO Magazine
"A powerfully written suite of linked stories follows one family from an old-country Sicilian village to an Italian neighborhood in Queens. Former Newburgh resident Panella gets the period details and voices pitch-perfect. Read Full Review
– Chronogram Magazine
…..his Italian-American past still looms….large…."There are certain things you grind away at as a writer, that you can't let go. You write because you don't want things to die, even though they were painful. If you're a writer, you can bring them back." Read Full Review
- Amy Lilly, Seven Days
- Chard DeNiord, The Brattleboro Reformer