SALT OF PATRIOTS                                  PRESS RELEASE 

Contact: Donna D. Vitucci                                                  March 2, 2017

513.448.7212 /



It’s fitting that April 22, Earth Day, is the release date for SALT OF PATRIOTS, the new novel by local author Donna D. Vitucci. SALT is a fictional portrayal of uranium processing during the nuclear industry’s early days, and it settles on the community of Fernald, OH, to illustrate the days and dreams of families there during the 1950s. If even the government’s unsure of the dangers then how’s a regular guy to reckon it?

More than fifteen years in the writing, SALT OF PATRIOTS is not an expose´, its characters are no whistleblowers. The novel serves up optimism and fear among working class families whose breadwinners hold dependable jobs in the face of atomic risk.There is love and there is loss.

It is a story of a place, an industry, and most of all an innocent trust in superiors, and in the world, which no longer exists. The Feed Materials Production Center (FMPC) was tightly run by the US government’s Atomic Energy Commission (today’s Department of Energy). Guided by its strict mission, the FMPC could not help but affect the land and the lives of families who relied on the dependable employment despite the shadowy industry in their midst.

The novel’s characters are loosely based on those who worked at the FMPC, and re-imagined from hundreds of interviews conducted as part of lawsuit remediation activities upon the plant’s closure in the 1980’s.

Vitucci grew up in northwest Hamilton County. She and her family well knew Fernald and its surrounding countryside. She has been writing and publishing since 1990. Her first novel, AT BOBBY TRIVETTE’S GRAVE, five-star-rated at Amazon, was released in 2016. SALT OF PATRIOTS has its genesis in family stories of her uncles, who worked at the atomic plant in Fernald, OH, in its early years. Today, Vitucci lives in an historic home in Covington, KY.

For interviews, author appearances, and more, contact Donna at 513.448.7212 or email

Pre-publication blurbs:

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.

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

Donna Vitucci 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 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