by Ursula Hegi
Category: Fiction / General
0 pages; ISBN: 0743255984
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Touchstone, Sep 2004, $13.00
In 1953, seven years old Anthony Amedeo lives what he perceives is the good life in his Bronx neighborhood as the only child. His father has a thriving catering business and his stay at home mother dotes on Anthony. Anthony’s idyllic childhood changes when his Uncle Malcolm is back behind bars, forcing Aunt Floria and their eight-year-old twin daughters to move into the Amedeo fifth floor apartment; the twins share Anthony’s previously private room. Not long afterward, one of the twins falls out a window to her death.
The tragedy haunts Anthony over the next four plus decades as he not only witnessed the fall of his cousin and never quite got over that first touch of death, his mother and aunt believed he pushed his cousin out the window. Living with that undeclared sentencing by his beloved family, Anthony feels all alone in spite of marriage and success as a chef.
Though a bit confusing as there are three eras not smoothly transitioned, SACRED TIME is a remarkable look at how one event lasting seconds can have major impact over the lives of those immediately involved and even later on others for example spouses. On a mega level such as 9/11 this seems obvious, but Ursula Hegi’s message is that on the micro family level, relationships are impacted by events such as the death of the twin. The cast is a delightful Italian-American Bronx family who never look at Anthony the same way after his cousin’s death. However, the biggest bearer of misfortune besides the victim is Anthony, who perceives what his loved ones believe of him. This is a strong character study of the long term consequences of a tragedy.
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