"Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels meet Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women" in award-winning author Connie Guzzo-McParland's highly anticipated sophomore novel, The Women of Saturn
The Women of Saturn chronicles the lives of three women of different generations, all living in Montreal in the 1980s, connected and haunted by the same Italian village of their pasts.
When high school teacher Cathy's estranged childhood friend, Lucia is found beaten and abandoned in an apparent act of domestic violence, she takes Lucia's teenage daughter, Angie, into her home. An aspiring writer, Cathy resolves herself to giving Lucia a voice through her writing--and in doing so, relives their journey from Calabria to Canada in 1957, her own family's difficult years after their arrival in Montreal, and the exhilarating, corruption-ridden period of Expo 67.
Meanwhile, rumors swirl about Lucia's family's connections to the Montreal Mafia. Cathy's live-in boyfriend, Sean, sees Angie's presence in their home as a dangerous liability to his career in federal politics - not helped by the fact that Lucia's husband, located in Italy, begins to hurl accusations of corruption against Lucia's family and their business partner with ties to the Member of Parliament for whom Sean works. When these revelations are brought to the attention of Montreal tabloid journalist Antoine--Cathy's former writing mentor, with whom she's had a problematic relationship since her teens--Cathy becomes yet more determined to connect the village stories of the past with the drama of the present, culminating in a confrontation that will forever change her life.
Gripping and as satisfying as southern Italian cuisine, The Women of Saturn is an important and unforgettable story about the female immigrant experience, and the inescapable impact of the past on our post-modern present.
Born in Italy, raised in Montreal, Connie Guzzo-McParland has enjoyed an eclectic mix of life experiences. She majored in Italian literature at Concordia University, then pursued a teaching and business career before graduating from the Creative Writing Master’s program at Concordia University where she received the 2006-2007 David McKeen Award for Creative Writing for her thesis, the novel Girotondo. An excerpt from this novel, translated into Italian, won second prize at the Premio Letterario Cosseria in Italy. Since 2010 she has been co-director and President of Guernica Editions.
"The story captivated me from the opening sentence where the heroine of the novel, Cathy Anastasia, recalls how she imagined life through the filter of black-and-white post-war Italian films. The Women of Saturn continues the saga of The Girls of Piazza d'Amore with the precocious Caterina's voyage to Canada and her coming of age in Montreal, her translation there into the woman, Cathy. Connie Guzzo-McParland has produced a literary novel that is also a page-turner; Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels meet Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women."
--Mary di Michele
"An unusual blend of charm, nostalgia, and grit, Connie Guzzo-McParland's bittersweet bildungsroman, The Women of Saturn, reprises characters from her debut novella The Girls of Piazza d'Amore. Authentic in its evocation of mid-twentieth century Italian Montreal, the novel's preoccupations with domestic violence, cynical politics, and organized crime resonate with topical relevance for contemporary readers. Richly textured and panoramic, The Women of Saturn is an engrossing read."
--Elaine Kalman Naves, author of The Book of Faith
"Connie Guzzo-McParland's new novel, The Women of Saturn, is a stirring consideration of culture and politics, of loyalty and loss that is as wide as it is deep, as ambitious as it is intimate. The emphasis, here, may be on three generations of Italian Montrealers, but this is also a story of immigration, one that never ends, as Guzzo-McParland writes. It just comes back around. The Women of Saturn gives us circles within circles. Brava!"
--Joel Yanofsky, author of Bad Animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism
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