Before The Godfather and The Last Don, Mario Puzo wrote The Fortunate Pilgrim, a novel many believe to be one of the classics of Italian-American fiction. In this special edition, Mario Puzo's legions of fans will discover a different side of this legendary author, writing for the first time about an Italian family in which a woman holds the power.
Lucia Santa has traveled three thousand miles of dark ocean, from the mountain farms of Italy to the streets of New York, hoping for a better life. Instead, she finds herself in Hell's Kitchen, in a bad marriage, raising six children on her own. As Lucia struggles to hold her family together, her daughter confronts the adult world of work and romance while her eldest son is drawn into the Mafia. Meanwhile, her youngest son aspires to American pursuits she cannot understand.
Puzo has called this 1965 pre-Godfather novel his personal favorite of his oeuvre. It recounts the life of Lucia Santa Angeluzzi-Corbo, a Southern Italian immigrant who settles in New York in the 1920s. This "very colorful and perceptive novel" remains "highly readable" for today's audience (LJ 3/15/65).