We act on one another like atmosphere and ocean, storm and sky… one grand geyser.
Bobby Trivette loves starry-eyed DruAnn Finch, boy loses girl, boy dies in a tragic accident in Kentucky’s back hills, but Bobby’s streak through the Finch family is only the beginning. Dru Ann’s future turns to pure free fall. Her grief spiral sets everyone connected to her evaluating the ones they love, their secrets and past ills, and the ways they’ve lived in the small town of Paris, Kentucky, forever in the shadow and the spirit of the Cane Ridge Shrine.
SALT OF PATRIOTS shines light on the nuclear industry’s early days at the Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) by focusing on ground level workers in this rural Ohio uranium processing plant. During the optimistic, buttoned-up 1950s, Fernald employees pledge to keep their work quiet, even from their own families.
A young couple argue and break up, triggering a chain of events that will transform two families. Donna Vitucci’s debut novel tackles a vital human question: How do we prevail when the weight of loss and regret threatens to drag us under? Vitucci’s writing is compassionate and wise. At Bobby Trivette’s Grave is a story to savor and, finally, be heartened by.
David Long, author of The Falling Boy and The Inhabited World
From the wondrous opening line to the novel’s conclusion, Donna Vitucci fuses a poet’s gift for language with the compelling scenes and characters of a natural-born storyteller. Beautiful, heartbreaking, and true, At Bobby Trivette’s Grave confirms this author merits a wide and appreciative national audience.
Donna Vitucci shines a spotlight on the Department of Energy in the 1950s, asking the subversive question—what if there had been an atomic plant in Our Town? She is a voice of reason for these troubled times, capturing the lives of working stiffs and their attempts to secure some kind of normalcy for their families as the daily grind at the plant poisons their lives and everything round them.
Richard Peabody, author of Blue Suburban Skies
Donna Vittucci has written an exceptional tale about life-giving dreams and deadly secrets, about patriotism and the exploitation of workers set in and around a uranium processing plant in Ohio in the 1950s. Salt of Patriots is a marvelous and often unsettling novel full of honesty, heart, and grace. It’s both seductive and harrowing. Accidents happen. Families fall apart. Decent and honorable men are fed a diet of toxic lies. Here is the story of the beginning of the end of American post-war age of innocence.
John Dufresne, author of I Don’t Like Where This Is Going
Donna Vitucci writes with great authenticity and knowledge about a fascinating time and place in U.S. history that readers will find compelling and relevant. Vitucci’s prose is delicate and exquisitely detailed. She weaves a captivating, original, and sweeping tale of love, truth, and politics.
Janice Eidus, author of The Last Jewish Virgin and The War of the Rosens
Stunning images in Donna D. Vitucci’s compelling novel Salt of Patriots will haunt you–a flock of starlings falls dead while flying through toxic smoke, a drinking hose shoots foul liquid at a child’s feet, a man climbs a silo to be closer to the sky. For the families employed at this historical and ominous 1950’s atomic plant, we worry every inch of the way, and not just because of the dangerous work, but because Vitucci has created men, women and children who we care about intensely. We root for them in life and love, and we are heartbroken when they can’t, and won’t, shy from their duties.
Ann Joslin Williams, author of Down From Cascom Mountain and The Woman in the Woods.
There is no whole truth, but this is what we have,
And it goes on
Beyond impact, beyond reach, beyond recall…
The thing that eats the heart is mostly the heart.
We dress our garden, eat our dinners, discuss the household with our wives, and these things make no impression, are forgotten next week; but in the solitude to which every man is always returning, he has a sanity and revelation, which in his passage into new worlds he will carry. Never mind the ridicule, never mind the defeat: up again, old heart!
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Science, seeking confirmation, proof and objective testing, cannot avail itself of this cardinal human loneliness, but literature can. And this with language that is always failing, and stumbling, break…
–Source Unknown, and quote unfinished
At a certain age, the light that you live in is inhabited by the shades…I’m very conscious that people dear to me are alive in my imagination…These people are with me. It’s just a stage of your life when the death of people doesn’t banish them out of your consciousness, They’re part of the light in your head.
You are lucky you are a writer because you will sort through this in ways other souls cannot; the bad part is you feel and see all of this in ways non-writers don’t.
That’s the way to live: to stick your hand into the infinite outside
of the world, turn the outside inside out,
the world into a room and God into a little soul
inside the infinite body.
–Yehuda Amichai, translated from Hebrew by Chana Block & Chana Kronfeld
Nothing survives that hasn’t been lovingly scarred in the brain or dented by the human voice.
I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget now and then for a moment and not spend all your breath trying to conquer it.