FATHER by Charles Cal


Email this review


From a child killer, (1952) to his Peytonesque Strike Heaven on the Face (1958) this author now considers a double-exposure -- that of a son tracing his dead father's past in the land of his birth, Italy, and his own disparate inheritance -- from a Jewish mother and the man who had left the Catholic priesthood. Accepting the invitation to the dedication to his father of a school in Montefumo, Gluseppe Bruno comes from America to the family, friends, and background of which he has read in his father diaries, known through the pride and loyalty of the Italians in the United States, and -- with the events of the past and the happenings in the present -- is able to see, from a distance, the torments and travail his father knew and to accept what is now being offered to the honor of a man who stood large in the memory of many. The story of Glunio has greater scope in its conflict between what a talented boy and man of the period of Italian unrest experiences through the compulsion exerted by his mother that her son become a priest and his own self knowledge that religion, form and dogma were less to him than his desire to be of immediate help to people, to educate and to share. The son relives his father's travail, in his of Claulia, the strident family quarrels, the accumulation of honors -- and of appestionings of the Church and its prelates, and Glunio's final break. He is drawn to know the keep roots left him and pride in his long heritage. A commixture of generations, of debts and doubts, this makes up for the earlier books and should easily reach as fiction lerived audience.

Pub Date: March 14th, 1962
Publisher: Crown