A Story for Louise

Feb 23, 2018 403

Eric Lanzieri of Connecticut has published the true story of finding his relatives in Italy nearly fifty years after his grandmother’s last contact with them. Eric, an attorney and a teacher of college courses in law, explains how a confluence of circumstances allowed him to travel to his grandmother’s home town of Scafati in 1994, where he told the story of his grandmother’s last visit there in 1946 to anyone who would listen. 

Eric takes us with him through the early disappointments in his search, until we stand next to him as he is introduced to a man who met Eric’s grandmother when she visited in 1946. We share their amazement as they discover that they are related to each other. 

A Story for Louise is titled for Eric’s grandmother, whose real name was Luigina, but came to be known as Louise after emigrating to Connecticut at the age of sixteen. It describes Louise’s childhood in Italy, and her life in Connecticut from 1906 through 1946. The book also explains  how Eric’s father Charlie passed along many stories about Louise’s four-month trip in 1946 to Eric, and how Charlie taught Eric to speak Italian as a pastime when Eric was a child. Without these fortuitous and unusual tools, Eric might never have found his relatives. It is all the more remarkable  when we learn that although Charlie was born in Connecticut and spoke Italian before English, he never visited Italy, despite a lifelong desire to do so.

The book brings us along as Eric meets numerous relatives of Louise, who help him to find relatives of Louise’s husband Enrico, who was also from Scafati, but died in Connecticut as a young man in 1923. We share the joy of Eric and his newfound family in their new relationships, and we wonder at the closing of the circle as Eric appears as a guest lecturer on two occasions at the University of Salerno School of Law, only a short drive from the town which Louise and Enrico left more than one hundred years before.

A Story for Louise is a tribute to finding long lost relatives using only verbal family history,  without any documentary evidence. It is available in paperback or as an e-book from Lulu Publishing. More information about A Story for Louise and its author, as well as a link to its listing with Lulu Publishing, can be found at www.astoryforlouise.com.

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