Reviewed as part of the First Look program.
Published by Harper Collins Publishers.
When the World Was Young is a book that will tug at your heart strings while simultaneously disturbing you with the secrets that are hidden within this family of Italian-American immigrants.
We are brought into this family in the most tragic of circumstances, the loss of their youngest son. While I had expected the book to be about the healing process of such an event, it was so much more.
One night, during a festival the older son who is named Santo, witnesses somthing which causes him to look more closely at his father who has always had a weakness for the ladies. Santo is also trying to protect his younger sister Victoria who seems determined to ignore the guidance of those around her, seeming to seek out trouble but mostly being an average curious teenager.
The family has a wonderful mix of both modern and old-country culture which adds a nice touch to an already fascinating novel. I love that it made me think as many ethical/moral situations come to light which made me question myself on what I would do in place of the characters. For that reason, I would say this would make a great book-club choice. I can't say this book is a coming of age story though that very much plays a huge part within the pages. What it is, to me at least, is a heartwarming and heartbreaking tale which is difficult to put down.
I really liked this one and I look forward to more works by this author. (Perhaps a sequel?)