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THE CASA BELLE CHRONICLES - DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THE MESSINA DISASTER?

Messina
By Liz Galvano
Published by Xulon
ISBN#978-1-4984-5307-3
360 Pages

Back Cover: Ominous words from the stone-faced physician at the temporary hospital greet her: "Welcome to hell, Miss James." No description could be more accurate. Earthquake, tsunami, and fire have razed Messina, Sicily. In a single night in 1909, one hundred thousand people never wake up. Physician Lucille James is determined to help despite horrendous conditions, almost non-existent medical supplies, and the opposition of the medical community she worked so hard to join. Giovanni Castello, the man facing her now, stands as her biggest opponent. Surrounded by blood and death and pushed to the edge of exhaustion, Lucille relies on God as her only option. When God gives a gift, after all, a person must use it. Will she have the strength, courage, and faith to do so? Messina - Book 1 in the Casa Bella Chronicles Liz Galvano  has been writing since she was a little girl. Her stories combine old style adventure and romance with a dash of humor. She loves family, food, animals, and all things Italian. Liz lives with her husband Jeff, two rambunctious dogs, two entitled cats, and a horse who thinks she's a princess.

REVIEW: This author whisks readers to the city of Messina, Italy 1908, where people are facing a catastrophe like no other. The main character Dr. Lucille James; is determined to help these people with her father’s blessings. Not only is Lucille a female surgeon facing horrendous conditions, trying to help people with almost non-existent medical supplies, but then there’s the opposition from the medical community about a female surgeon working period the end. She’d face this situation in America however opposition in Italy seemed worse. She was with her father at a conference when the earthquake hit. In a single night one hundred thousand people never woke up after the tsunami and fire hit Messina, Sicily.

One Dr. tells the others, “I had the opportunity to observe Miss James’ work when I visited Boston last summer…This young lady has convinced me that women, on occasion, can make marvelous physicians.” The problem is they needed one now.

Lucille’s dad pipes up, “My daughter graduated top of her class I’m proud of her.”

She’s asked why a woman would want to be a surgeon. “I love this profession. Medicine runs in my family. And I seem to be good at it. My father is a Dr. My mom was a brilliant nurse…My older brother graduated with a medical degree three years ago.”

She listened to their prejudices, “If you marry, I don’t know any man who would want his wife doing surgeries. It’s too ugly a job for someone like you! As for the Medical community it took years for them to finally admit that Florence Nightingale was right in her discovery of hospital sanitation.”

“I sincerely believe that God has given me a gift and I must use it. Somehow he’ll find an avenue for he’s given me. As for marriage, I have no intentions of marrying unless I can find someone with whom I can work as a partner.”

Physicians and staff are cold to Dr. James hoping she’d quit and head back to America. Among the many things that Dr. James did that annoyed her fellow Doctors and got under their skin was the fact she prayed for each and every patient before an operation. One doctor finally questioned her, “I need to know how you can still believe in God after all this?...Can’t you see that this God you keep talking to is just a fantasy?’

This novel brings to mind all first responders do to save lives. We caught a glimpse of them hard at work when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, N.Y. on Sept.11th just to mention a few. This author doesn’t get extremely graphic in describing her work environment. But she does give you a peek at the situation the city was in. She leaves much to your imagination. I liked that.

I rooted for this feisty young lady determined to beat the odds and do with her life what God has called her to do. This is a story of faith, hope and love with well-timed humor and a love story developing during tragic times. It’s a vivid account of an actual event that you won’t soon forget. The author includes an index of Italian phrases to help readers.

This is not something I normally read but I was drawn in by this cutting edge American father/daughter team who challenged old ways of thinking. Bonus readers gets to know about Italy and some of the issues they faced in 1908.
ABOUT AUTHOR: Liz Galvano has been writing since she was a little girl. Her stories combine old style adventure and romance with a dash of humor. She loves family, food, animals, and all things Italian. Liz lives with her husband Jeff, two rambunctious dogs, two entitled cats, and a horse who thinks she's a princess.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
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