The back cover is equally as beautiful and I snapped a photo (originally provided courtesy of the author) of it to share so we all can bask in its beauty:
As the story weaves on, we get to see the author's childhood and I felt such sadness for her at many times as she described growing up as this secret child. Her mom couldn't really be a parent to her and was so non-functional whenever Aldo was away, and then for Patricia to lose her nanny, Maureen, when she was old enough to not physically need a nanny anymore. Emotionally though, she certainly still needed the love and care that Maureen had provided for her. It was quite heartbreaking. Her father's visits were not long, a weekend at most, usually once a month or so, and that part also made me sad for her. From the moment he arrived home, Bruna occupied his attention with her 'venting' as it was referred to in the book and it seems that even though they both always looked forward to his visits, the author didn't get to see him nearly as much as she wanted or needed. When Aldo became ill and was on the verge of passing away, I was in tears. It was a combination of everything he had gone through in his later years, when he should have been enjoying life with his family, and the hard fact that everyone eventually has to say goodbye to the people they love, that hit me so hard. But the author handles these last stories of her father quite elegantly, and it is as beautiful in her writing as it is devastating for her loss.
The one thing I could not relate to at all, was the absolute deviousness of both Aldo's sons from his first marriage, and his nephew to boot. I just can't imagine ever doing something so cold and heartless to anyone in general, much less a family member who had provided me with a life beyond anything a regular person would ever experience. His sons were horrible, and his nephew needed a good slap upside the head and a kick in the ass, just for good measure.
Overall, I enjoyed the book - but as I mentioned above, it is not without drama or sadness at times. I am sometimes cautious at first when family members pen memoirs of their own loved-ones, because often the story is told through rose-colored glasses with an obvious slant. Not so with this work, as the author seamlessly combines the two parallel stories - her family and the family business. I think Patricia Gucci has written a wonderful memoir that her father would be quite proud of her for.