The Girls of Piazza d'Amore
“For some, having had a happy childhood is almost as painful as having suffered an unhappy one. It feels like a persistent ache of yearning, like the grief for a lost love.” -- from The Girls of Piazza d'Amore
Connie Guzzo-McParland's is "a poignant portrait of a simple world fated to change and the idyllic times of childhood that, however remote, none of us can quite manage to leave behind." -- Sarah Fletcher in the mRb review.
A quintessential Calabrian love story. The Girls of Piazza d’Amore traces the lives of three village girls and the forces that lead them to leave home for a new life across the ocean. Set in southern Italy in the 1950s, Connie Guzzo-McParland’s short novel walks us through the piazza and the narrow alleys of her own childhood, imaginatively recreating an entire world as seen through the eyes of a young girl who accompanies her friends on their evening passeggiate to the spring water fountain and carries their love notes to the boys they love. The joys of Calabrian village life are palpable, and so are its frustrations and heartbreaks, but this is a world on the cusp of irrevocable change, as family after family is leaving. And that’s what is most heartbreaking of all.
Born in Italy, raised in Montreal, Connie Guzzo-McParland has enjoyed an eclectic mix of life experiences. She majored in Italian literature at Concordia University, then pursued a teaching and business career before graduating from the Creative Writing Master’s program at Concordia University where she received the 2006-2007 David McKeen Award for Creative Writing for her thesis, the novel Girotondo. An excerpt from this novel, translated into Italian, won second prize at the Premio Letterario Cosseria in Italy. Since 2010 she has been co-director and President of Guernica Editions.