“Our house, in Little Italy, shared a wall with the Rossis’ next door, and our clothesline connected with the Pilettis’ behind us. My mother used to say that if one of the neighbours’ houses was swallowed up by hell, we would all be pulled down with them.”
Smart, witty, and emotionally generous, Tempting Faith DiNapoli is first-time novelist Lisa Gabriele’s alternately wrenching and funny coming-of-age story about a girl who is born with a powerful faith — a faith that is sorely tested across the difficult years of her childhood and adolescence.
Bewildered by her lot as the daughter in a fundamentally and often hilariously dysfunctional family, Faith genuinely wants to be a good Catholic girl. And she’s pretty sure Jesus loves her. Trouble is, she’s angry. Angry with her father for leaving, her mom for never going anywhere, and her siblings — just because they’re around. So Faith lies. She cheats and she steals. In fact, she breaks every commandment on the list, mostly by accident. And in the process, Faith finds herself increasingly torn between the girl she and Jesus want her to be, and the girl she just plain happens to be.
Lisa Gabriele writes with rare confidence and insight. Her sure-handed narrative hums along on the charged rhythms of Faith’s poignant quest for her own private happy ending. Charming, fresh, and big-hearted, Tempting Faith DiNapoli is a novel that will stay with readers long after the last page has been turned.