Rosemary and Antonio by Marie Fostino

Rosemary meets Antonio one morning at the coffee shop where Rosemary goes to warm up before heading to College.  She is instantly drawn to the stranger, yet is coy; which fits the time period of this story as it is set in Chicago in the 1920’s.  Rosemary and Antonio play the age old dance of love, getting to know each other, each other’s families, their dreams.  Rosemary has big dreams, she wants to be educated, be a teacher, help children learn.  Antonio doesn’t completely understand these ambitions, neither does Rosemary’s mother.  Soon, Rosemary is determined to finish College, yet she is just as determined to be with Antonio.

Both families have tangential ties to the warring mob factions in Chicago.  Rosemary and Antonio continue to nurture their tender love story as mayhem reigns around them.  Ultimately, history and family swirl around our young lovers in a chain reaction with a fallout that affects everyone around them.

Marie Fostino, the author,  seems to be asking us “Why do we slot everyone into places”?”  Can we ever really “see” the person separate from history, family, culture.  “Why do we make assumptions?”

These are tough questions for anyone to answer.   I am not sure there are answers, but this story definitely makes you think about your own assumptions.

I would have liked to see a little less narrative.   However, Marie Fostino can definitely draw her characters well enough for us to visualize the narrative as it unfolds, and keep us interested till the end.

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