Meet The Family

 It is getting close, my friends. The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers came back from my brilliant beta readers, and I am getting the revisions done. This is the third and final book of the Becoming America’s Stories series. The Heart of Bakers and Artists and The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers have been out in the world for almost a year. I hope you read them.

It has never been a challenge for me to remember family names and understand relationships. I grew up in a large extended family. I know which side of the family one belonged to and if Aunt Betsy was really an aunt or just grew up down the street with the family’s kids and was at all the events and Sunday dinners. But, I see this is not everyone’s skill set. One of my readers suggested I provide visuals and a brief description of the big cast of characters. Brilliant! 

Today’s post features Lily Taglia, the main character in the books, and her family. Lily is growing up in the busy Little Italy neighborhood of New York City’s Lower East Side, in a crowded three-room apartment on the fourth floor of a five-story walk-up apartment. Each floor has one toilet closet in the hallway and shared by four families. It is 1911 and history plays out in real time while Lily and her family and friends negotiate their new country, creating their American story. 

The Taglia Family 

Here is our spunky protagonist, Lily. She loves to play and sing, but does not want to be treated like a little kid. Lily is the middle sister of the family. Her Papa calls her Songbird because her singing brings joy to the dreary home.

This is Papa—StefanoTaglia. He is a loyal patriarch and kind father who loves his daughters and works long laborious hours six days a week. In 1899, Stefano arrived in America from a poor village in Sicily,ahead of his wife and then two little daughters. Lily thinks he is the most handsome and wonderful Papa.

Meet Mama—Francesca Taglia, a lean and strong woman who demands obedience from her daughters. She works hard keeping her family clean, fed, and safe each day. As brave as Mama seems, she resists American ways and does not want to speak English, until…

Margaret is the bossy eldest sister. She must work hard, follow the rules, and be responsible to her little sisters. Margaret wants to be a somebody when she grows up.

This is Lily’s frail second sister, Betta. She is exactly one year younger than Margaret. Although plagued with blinding headaches and fevers, Betta somehow manages to look beautiful every day. She loves to read and imagines life as a dramatic book character.

Gigi is the fourth sister. She likes to be included in Lily’s play and demands attention. Her best friend is Principessa, a rag doll she has had since she was a baby.

Violet arrived at the beginning of the second book, The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers. Infant and maternal death were commonplace. The family found resources to save Mama and keep Violet healthy.  

Please note all of the photographs are in the public domain and free to use.

They were found in the Library of Congress and Wiki Media Commons.

Great BIG Thanks and appreciation go out to Natalie the Explorer who keeps the Weekend Coffee Share percolating.

Enjoy ❤️.   Like 👍.  Share 😊. 

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Becoming America’s Food Stories

Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.
The Heart of Bakers and Artists is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers picks up where The Heart of Bakers and Artists left off.Lily has big dreams to sing out with her powerful voice, but must do EVERYTHING, since Mama fell into a deep depression, the baby is sick, and the “Black Hand” terrorizes the neighborhood, threatening her chance to sing at the New York Highlanders Fourth of July baseball game.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

18 thoughts

    1. I love all these stories they are truly addicting. Love theses stories. I only wish my brother Vincent who wrote and loved writing. would love these books. My son writes as well Journalist it is a family blessing. Keep writing love them.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s always interesting to see how authors perceive their characters. I’m unable to visualize storylines in my head, so something like this would be really helpful when I’m reading. Hope the book goes well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Antoinette – I agree with your readers, These visual aids were both helpful and I thought they were even fun to see the characters that I’ve come to know through your books.
    Sorry for being so late this week. I had – distractions.


  3. I am reading Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations this week. It seems he starts with characters and then evolves the story from there. Looks like you are off to a similar start. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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