One Life’s Journey
For all things there is a sesaon, a time to laugh and a time to cry, a time for planting and a time for harvesting, a time for making war and a time for making peace, a time to live and a time to die. – Ecclesiates 3:1-8Buccellato, C. To Every Page A Turning, Mascot Books, 2021
I want to start off by saying I never cared for Historical Fiction. It wasn’t a genre I could get into, but that was the younger me. The adult me is appreciating certain books within that realm This was book one of them and every page was worth turning.
Fair warning, the author does not hide his faith in this book. If you are someone who likes nothing with a religious tone, then this book may not be for you. Even then, once you read you will understand why he shone so heavily on his beliefs, regardless of what yours may be. Give this book a chance.
The book starts off in a present-day about with a retired couple. They are both on the porch of their Florida home looking out across their two acres of land. I had to include this because this is a dream that we strive for at some point. I want a log cabin with a wrap-around porch, but that’s just me. Anyway, the wife asks him what his plans are for the day. The husband is going to clean out a file cabinet and there is where he finds old papers that he had written throughout his life. This is where the story begins.
The story takes us on a journey of a young boy growing into a man. What life was like for him as a child, how his relationship was with his father, and his struggle of trying to find purpose in life? As a teen, they accepted him into an art school in Manhattan and was an excellent boxer. He found he enjoyed drawing and painting, but somehow convinced himself that art wasn’t for him. I believe his father played a part in that. His father never believed in any of the boy’s dreams or ambitions. The kid was also one hell of a boxer; he enjoyed it. It was a way to relieve stress and let out all of his frustrations, and from there he started gaining more respect from others. In the ring, he was proving himself and gaining confidence.
Our kind of people don’t get any luck; we just get by. And if we have more kids…oh well, it’s just another plate of macaroni. – His fatherBuccellato, C. To Every Page A Turning, Mascot Books, 2021
Later on, we see the kid join a street gang, the Bath Beach Kings. I literally laughed out loud at the name, cause what. Apparently, they were a well-feared and respected gang. Their logo was a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back, a fighting eagle. They got in fights, did drugs, ran numbers, and some hoped to impress the head members of local mob families. One by one he watched his friends die, get addicted to drugs, or go to jail. He joined the army to escape the same fate of his friends, of his father. The kid wanted more out of life; he wanted to be somebody and mean something to the world.
Later on, as an adult, he built and started a company that was named one of the fastest-growing companies in 1986. He thought since his family was poor that the answer would be to have financial security. All the money he earned, and still was not enough. Like they always say, money doesn’t buy happiness. The guilt of his success haunts him when he has to head home for the first time in ages. His father had fallen ill and everyone came home and to be there for the man. He held his father’s arm in the hospital as he took his last breath. And boy does he mourn for time lost and mourn for the relationship he wishes they had.
I the Lord am calling. Who will it be?Buccellato, C. To Every Page A Turning, Mascot Books, 2021
We see the war that’s inside him. The true him is struggling to break free, but who is he? Is he a street kid, a genius, a business owner, a veteran, a dreamer? He was so invested in his business that he was letting life pass him by, not living. He prays for his authentic form to shine through the masks he has in place. We watch as he watches everyone he loves pass him by. Come and go. That’s what life is right, we live and we die.
The older version of himself, present-day, can appreciate the young man’s struggle. He can appreciate all that he went through in life, the highs and the lows. The journey it took to get to enjoy retirement with his wife on their two acres of land in sunny Florida. We see how his faith grew and how he trusted more in God and less on what he thinks life should be or how others view life.
This was a raw and touching story. It definitely will have you reflecting on your own life and your own inner battle. Sometimes all you need a brief prayer and a lot of faith that everything will fall in place when it needs to and the journey, no matter how painful, was worth it.
Book Title: To Every Page a Turning: One Life’s Journey
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 284 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: April 2021
Content Rating: PG. Content not suitable for young children.
A parallel to Buccellato’s own life, the main character into Every Page A Turning: One Life’s Journey considers the trials and tribulations throughout his life, beginning in the 1950s. Traveling through hope, a great cause, disenchantment, hopelessness, discovery, and rebirth, the novel also recounts the travel of a generation as they move through time.