Author and Publisher
Florida Writers Assoc.
Daytona Writers Group
Taylor And Seale Publishing, LLC
Mary Catherine Foca Custureri, former full time university and high
school instructor, has successfully published a number of professional
books under her professional name,
Dr. Mary Custureri. She is using her
maiden name of Foca as association with other writers and publishers in
her family here and abroad. Her experience with the culture of Italy began in childhood when her mother took her to Italy for two years. Returning to theU.S. before she started school, she became bilingual, and her father taught her to read in Italian before she started kindergarten. Nurtured by her father’s love of history and her mother’s love of literature and the humanities, and experiencing life in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, she grew up influenced by the rich culture of her own ethnic background and that of the immigrants from other countries who inhabited her neighborhood. Her interest in Italian culture was further enhanced when she attended a year of college in Reggio, Calabria after she graduated from high school in New Jersey. Studying the humanities (in Italian), with an emphasis on Italian and world literature, and art and music appreciation, she became enamored of Dante’s Divine Comedy, finding in that book a wealth of themes, the historical value of Dante’s writing, the complex structure of his book, and the different ways to approach his work. When she attended university later in the U.S., she continued this focus on his work and later, as an instructor, taught his works in the classroom and was asked to speak to various cultural groups about his work.
Defy The Winds
Mary Foca’s interest in Dante’s work, as well as her study of the history and investigation into the lives of immi-grants who lived during a great time of change in the United States – the mid 20’s through the 50’s – is reflected in this novel. She has taken the idea of the love triangle depicted in Dante’s Divine Comedy, changed the locale and the times, and let her characters react to the environment, the initial situation, and the characteristics she created for them.
The “plot thickens” as two unhappy couples leave their old country and passionately meet head on the challenges of their relationship to each other, their own personal expectations and ideologies, and the influence of people of diverse cultures. The winds of destiny blow them into turbulent economic times and gather momentum, twisting and turning their lives until they finally come full circle in an unexpected and ironic twist.
The fulfillment of the American Dream was not the same for each person, and the book examines with pathos and sometimes with humor how each person’s strengths and weaknesses are revealed as they struggle with the winds of destiny, their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own passions and desires to fulfill their dreams.
The characters will remain memorable.
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