Reading this contemporary spiritual memoir is like listening to the stories of an elderly uncle during a long, holiday dinner. Time lines zig and zag, and no details are omitted, but to your surprise you’re still listening as the table is being cleared. As a member in good standing of “the greatest generation,” this man’s story has a foundation and substance that is uncommon today.
The author, now in his eighties, takes us from his emotionally abusive childhood and the mean streets he walked in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, to his life now, working with civic groups, cooking for his kids and grandkids, writing, and making new friends all the time.
Born into a Roman Catholic family, the author is sustained by his faith, and according to him, the hand of God has lifted him up from some very low places indeed. When he decided to enlist in the Marines in 1941, for example, there was no one to see him off and no one to miss him. Honorably discharged after being wounded in action, the author took advantage of the G.I. Bill, earning a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After he met and married his cherished Josephine, the couple raised four children on a guidance counselor’s salary.
While illness, post-traumatic stress, and some self-inflicted financial wounds battered him, Pasquale ‘Pat’ Emiro just kept hitting back with the help of his faith, and it appears he still is.
This author’s voice is authentic. His candor and relentless striving in every endeavor punch right through typos, dropped words, a little overwrought prose, and a bunch of wandering pronouns. This book is like a package that hasn’t been perfectly wrapped: while it lacks polish, the gift inside is still well worth discovering.
Also available as an ebook.