Review from WomenConnectOnline.com
This is a book to savor in a rainy afternoon, because the power to absorb the reader into a parallel reality will make you forget about everything is going on around you. Suddenly, the scenes from the book will seem more familiar than the rainy weather, the feeling and experiences of the characters will be like they are all happening to your best friend. This is the power of a talented writer, named Carlos Rubio, the power to take you deeper, beyond the written lines, to make you feel like you actually live in the written story. The author is native from Cuba, but have studied the art of writing in USA, after his arrival in 1961. He has written books in both languages and he did a great job in both cases, since his books are very much appreciated and awarded.
This particular book is sewed around the life of a character, more exactly Anna D’Amio. The story starts with the basic beginnings of her mother and father, for the reader to understand better the background of the main character. The action is placed in Italy of the 1960’s, during the reign of Mussolini, by the time Anna’s parents were raising starts on Book Forgotton objectsthe stages of the opera. The author presents in the most beautiful and artistic way possible the indestructible love story between Francesca, the mother, and Louis, the father. But the idyllic story is torn apart by the sudden death of Louis. This is where the amazing skills of the author step in, by depicting in words the intense states of mind of Anna’s mother and the constant struggle to raise two children.
Anna D’Amio, although was born from passionate love, will not have the same luck to find happiness with a single man. The story follows her from Italy to Cuba, and eventually USA. Although the author leaves the impression that Anna had found her luck and fortune in Cuba, things are not ending up like this and tragedy hits again our character. To protect her two daughters from the restless background of Cuba, she sends them away to USA, only to find them put in foster homes by the time she manages to arrive in USA. The struggles of a mother, with a poor financial condition, with no relations and influences, being a total stranger in the world that she arrived, trying to win back her children is caught amazingly in words by the author. The fact the Anna D’Amio ends up realizing that dreams are made to be unreachable and that life has so many cutting edges, that in the end she admits to herself that a person can change so much under life’s circumstances that it can end up to be quite unrecognizable to our own self.
This is an amazing story with a complex content. The action starts softly in the 1960’s Italy, presenting the way things were happening back then, and it slowly moves towards, to the present days, the final chapter of the book being letters of Anna’s daughters, bearing the date 2005. This letters are actually a post-mortem continuance of Anna, since her daughters found a box of items, collected by their mothers throughout her life journey, item that most certainly had a deep significance and were silent witnesses of Anna’s most important moments. The journey of the character is amazing to read and has the power of engulfing all of your time, until the last page of the book has been turned over. It is a story that has the all, a bit of history from different times and places, love stories, deep drama, family stories and intense individual experiences.
The soft and elegant style of the author has the gift of catching any reader into his piece of art. And in a time when books are not so much appreciated, we are indeed in need of authors with such great power of creation to remind us all that a book has the power of fulfilling an afternoon, that for a moment seemed dull and uninteresting.
Review from HistoricalNovelSociety.org
Rubio’s sumptuously detailed novel follows the life of Anne d’Amio, the daughter of opera singers Louis and Francesca d’Amio, and the story spans the bulk of the 20th century. It stretches from Anne’s departure from Mussolini’s Italy to her marriage to a wealthy Pittsburgh industrialist many years older than herself, to her widowhood and immigration to Cuba. There, she eventually marries a wealthy tobacco planter, only to watch their settled life torn apart by the island’s Communist revolution. With her husband dead and her prospects in Castro’s Cuba curtailed, she first sends her two children to foster homes in America, and then emigrates there herself, friendless and utterly adrift. “It is impossible to escape one’s destiny,” a character tells Anne early on, and Rubio’s long and ambitious narrative is a detailed piecing-together of what that destiny means for Anne and her children.
The book’s descriptions of its many historical settings – and the vivid sensory details Anne registers in her travels – are often quite powerfully done, and the historical research undergirding the whole story (including many aspects of Cuban history that will be unfamiliar to many readers) is well-handled throughout. A very solid novel.
Review from ReadersFavorite.com
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite
Forgotten Objects by Carlos Rubio introduces us to the life of Anna d’Amio who is the daughter of Louis and Francesca d’Amio, opera singers. The trail follows them from Mussolini’s Italy to the city of Pittsburgh during the roaring time of the mid-sixties. You will follow the story through three main sections of time and place; Italy, Cuba and the United States of America. Anna has a pretty exciting life in search of fame and fortune, and while looking for that, she finds the love of a second husband and family.
This was an interesting and touching story put together in a way that I have not seen before. The format of the book, the way the story is told, and how the end of it finds us with letters and other objects – what a touching way to tell a story. Carlos Rubio has found a magical way to tell a story of love, life and what you do when everything goes pear shaped. I cannot imagine having to flee not one but two countries due to war and things like communism. The ebb and flow of this book is perfect and there was not a single moment wasted. I felt connected and in touch with Anna and her story throughout the entire book. If you are looking for a book that is emotional, touching and will bring you into the world of the characters, this is a good read. Sit down, open up and be ready to enjoy yourself for hours because you will not want to put this book down.
Review from HistoricalNovelReview.blogspot.ca
Forgotten Objects by Carlos Rubio is a lush story about the life Anna d’Amio whose parents were opera singers and died when she was a very young woman. Alone at the age of 17, Anna must make her own way through life. With an incredibly rich and detailed prose that flows beautifully throughout the story, the story opens in Naples during Mussolini’s rise to power at the cusp of World War II. Dangerous circumstances and death force Anna to leave behind the life and only home she knew in Naples, flee war-torn Italy, and cross the ocean for Cuba. Historical details and vibrant descriptions pepper each page as the reader is immersed first into the Italian culture, then Cuba, and finally America. The writing is so rich and profound, it truly feels as if you are watching a movie.
Rich in historical detail, Anna who finds herself trapped between times of war and peace as she struggles to find happiness, success, and love. Forced to take risks, Anna faces her losses with amazing strength as she creates a livelihood for herself. She encounters love in three different countries and different times of war and peace.
This sweeping novel’s main themes are the struggle to survive, intense love, and binding relationships that shape our lives. The story evokes great emotion, as well as it entertains. With such incredibly human and complex characters, they truly came to life as I read. If you like novels that realistically sweep you into other countries with an engaging plot and immaculate writing, this novel is sure to fascinate. I cannot express enough how much I enjoyed this novel. Bravo Carlos Rubio! You have left us craving for more of your work!