“What Once Was Promised” by Louis Trubiano is released, a work of historical fiction that follows the trials and triumphs of an Italian immigrant family in 20th century Boston

Jun 22, 2024 463

“What Once Was Promised” by Louis Trubiano has been released worldwide. This 257-page novel tells the story of a multigenerational Italian family as they navigate the turmoil and quickly changing landscape of Boston, Massachusetts. Following three young Italian immigrants and one American-born Italian, the novel traces their diverging paths from settling in Boston’s North End neighborhood through the conflicts and decisions that pull them apart, all the way to the pressing mystery (and score to settle) that brings them back together.

Spanning 50 years of Boston history, the story pits its characters against rival factions and a hostile environment of discrimination. They face the fledgling Boston Mafia, corrupt police, Italian anarchists, and beyond as they each find their place in the world. This backdrop of early 1900s Boston affects each of their lives in different ways, from the Molasses Flood of 1919 to the Sacco and Vanzetti execution in 1927, and roots the events of the novel in a historical context that adds depth and palpable realism to the narrative. As Kirkus Reviews notes, “the city of Boston is as much a character as the human characters.” 

Inspired by his own family history, Trubiano incorporates real-world details into the lives of his characters as well. The main character, Domenic, emigrates to America from the same small town, at the same age, aboard the same ship as the author’s maternal grandfather, and his experiences help inform the tone of the novel throughout.  

Part family saga, part history lesson, and driven by intrigue and action, this powerful story transports readers to a time of dramatic change as seen through the eyes of people who lived it. At its heart, this is a tale of love and connection. Even after choice and circumstance cause the family to fracture, their ties are strong enough to bring them back together in times of need. 

Deftly balancing accurate history and fictionalized family drama, Trubiano paints a compelling portrait of Boston from the perspective of Italian immigrants, weaving a plot of love, violence, and mystery that is sure to keep pages turning.

What Once Was Promised (ISBN: 9781963844047 / 9781963844252), which has received a prestigious “Get it” rating from Kirkus Reviews, can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including Barnes and Noble and Amazon. The hardcover retails for $28.99, the paperback retails for $17.99, and the ebook retails for $6.99. Contact [email protected] for author interviews or review copies. Learn more at https://louistrubiano.com.

Reviews of What Once Was Promised:

“What Once Was Promised,” is a multi-generational family saga packed with action, intrigue, love, and violence. It is a compelling story that is often inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking. Highly recommended.”
- Len Joy, award winning author of Dry Heat and Everyone Dies Famous

“A moving and well-written saga of an earlier time in America.”
- Kirkus Reviews

“Step into the rich tapestry of early 20th-century Boston where love, friendship, and betrayal intertwine against a backdrop of political intrigue and personal vendettas."


From the back cover:

He came for a better life, but it didn’t turn out to be an easy one.

Sixteen-year-old Domenic Bassini sets out alone for America from his small village in 1914. He falls in love during a brief onboard affair with the beautiful Francesca, the wife of a man with Sicilian Mafia connections. But he loses her and arrives in Boston instead with an orphan stowaway named Ernesto Lentini in tow.

Domenic and Ernesto stay at the home of old family friends in Boston’s Italian North End neighborhood, sharing a room with their son, Joe. Domenic becomes like a big brother to Joe and Ernesto, who become inseparable friends.

As the years and decades pass, youthful rivalries and fateful decisions lead to unpredictable and sometimes unsavory outcomes. Between moments of joy and great tragedy, the three friends’ lives take very divergent paths amidst the turbulence of factions vying for power in the early 20th century Boston where the lines between politics, crime and policing are blurred.

But after all that has kept them apart, can Domenic, Ernesto, Joe and even Francesca, come together to settle the score with those who have spent a lifetime fighting against them?

About the author:

Louis Trubiano was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Rochester and a Master’s Degree from Boston University’s College of Communication. Louis spent over 40 years in the advertising industry in the Boston area, most of it as president of his own firm.  

He served as Chairman of the Board of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Board of Randolph Savings/ Envision Bank from 2015-2018.  He helped found and served as the first Chairman of the Envision Bank Foundation (now the Abington Bank Community Foundation). He and his wife live in Canton, Massachusetts and have three daughters, six grandchildren, and one spoiled dog.

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