The Right Thing to Do - A Novel
Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY
On a stroll in his Queens neighborhood, Sicilian-born Nino Giardello glimpses his daughter, ambitious nineteen-year-old Gina, heading for the subway. Silently, he follows her to Manhattan and watches, outraged, as she walks into the arms of a golden-haired stranger. The incident confirms Nino's worst suspicions about his decidedly American daughter. It also challenges Nino's power as capofamiglia, a disruption to his ideas about family life, and an insult to his heritage. In a struggle that exceeds all boundaries, including death, father and daughter will engage in a conflict of generations that is likewise a conflict of cultures.Josephine Gattuso Hendin captures New York Italian immigrant life with startling precision, bringing to life the intricate web of a community's everyday transactions and exploring the multifaceted father-daughter relationship at the heart of the Italian American family. A coming-of-age novel that is both wryly funny and achingly sad, The Right Thing to Do burns with the conflicting desires of two cultures, two generations, two sexes, each with its own intensely defined needs and ethical systems.