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Philadelphia Inquirer – August 5, 2007
When the World Was Young, the first novel by Romano, a writer and teacher
from the Chicago area, is a multilayered, often dark and edgy saga of one
Italian American family in the mid-to-later decades of 20th-century Chicago.
In ways, what this book does is set cliches on their heads. When the World
Was Young is also a tale of the otherness that then and now is so much a
part of the immigrant-family experience. Tony Romano draws characters
well... [and] can indeed write.” – Rita Giordano
Chicago Tribune – May 19, 2007
“Compelling... breathtaking... vivid and eloquent… Romano is a careful and
evocative writer who takes time with his descriptions to give his fictional
world depth and texture. As adept as he is at rendering visual images,
Romano is even more skilled at presenting his characters' psychic
landscapes. These narrative threads provide internal drama, but there is
plenty of good, old-fashioned, external plot as well... When the World Was
Young is a most-accomplished first novel, rich in characterization, setting
and psychological acuity.” – Jessica Treadway
Library Journal – May 11, 2007
“Examining the loss of innocence, respected short story author Romano
gracefully considers whether knowing the truth is always for the best while
capturing the values and characters of a 1950s Italian neighborhood.
Booklist – April 15, 2007
“Tenderhearted... Romano describes the mourning process in heart-wrenching
passages even as he relays the love and the secrets... that bind and
separate family members. In addition, he offers a finely detailed depiction
of the Peccatoris’ West Side Chicago neighborhood, from its Italian beef
stands to its majestic Catholic church.”