Wednesday, October 16, 2019

{ How Fires End by Marco Rafala - TLC Book Tour }

• Hardcover: 400 pages
• Publisher: Little A (October 15, 2019)

A dark secret born out of World War II lies at the heart of a Sicilian American family in this emotional and sweeping saga of guilt, revenge, and, ultimately, redemption.

After soldiers vacate the Sicilian hillside town of Melilli in the summer of 1943, the locals celebrate, giving thanks to their patron saint, Sebastian. Amid the revelry, all it takes is one fateful moment for the destiny of nine-year-old Salvatore Vassallo to change forever. When his twin brothers are killed playing with an unexploded mortar shell, Salvatore’s faith is destroyed. As the family unravels, and fear ignites among their neighbors that the Vassallo name is cursed, one tragedy begets another.

Desperate to escape this haunting legacy, Salvatore accepts the help of an Italian soldier with fascist ties who ushers him and his sister, Nella, into a new beginning in America. In Middletown, Connecticut, in the immigrant neighborhood known as Little Melilli, these three struggle to build new lives for themselves. But a dangerous choice to keep their secrets hidden erupts in violence decades later. When Salvatore loses his inquisitive American-born son, David, they all learn too late the price sons pay for their fathers’ wars.

Written with elegiac prose, How Fires End delves into the secret wars of men; the sins they cannot bury; and a life lived in fear of who will reveal them, who will survive them, and who will forgive them.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Photo by Jeffrey Mosier Photography

About Marco Rafalà

Marco Rafalà is a first-generation Sicilian American, novelist, musician, and writer for award-winning tabletop role-playing games. He earned his MFA in fiction from The New School and is a cocurator of the Guerrilla Lit Reading Series in New York City. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York. How Fires End is his debut novel. For more information, visit
Follow Marco on Twitter and Instagram.

My thoughts:
Not sure where to start, but I guess I can say that this book was quite brilliantly written.

It is told through the eyes of one person, but it does span three generations so it does quite a bit of popping back and forth.  Usually I don't much care for that kind of story telling, but in this instance it worked, and it worked because it needed to be told in such a fashion in order to make you really take note of what was happening between the three characters.

It is an historical fiction focusing on WWII, a pivotal moment for the Vassallo family, a move across the oceans and the repercussions that are felt generations later.

It touches on religion, it touches on the fragility of life, it touches on guilt and betrayal, old vendettas and love and anything else you could think of.

I don't think that I can quite go into detail as that would spoil the book, but it definitely deserves a spot on the shelf and on the list of books that are a must for 2019.

Thank you to TLC Tours and the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book, in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Thank you so much for your incredible, thoughtful review, Sandra. I'm so glad you enjoyed the novel! - Marco

  2. Wow- I'm so glad you enjoyed this one so much! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  3. Good day !!
    We are Christian Organization formed to help people in need of help,such as
    financial assistance, Do you need a loan to pay your bills? Do you need
    Personal Business Car or Student loans? Need a loan for various other
    purposes? If yes contact us.

    Note: These offer is for serious minded and God fearing People Only.


    Text or call: +1-205-5882-592.

    Address is 68 Fremont Ave Penrose CO, 81240.


  4. It’s a very extraordinary and controversial book, but it’s only clear that it cannot leave anyone indifferent, someone will be delighted with it and others will say that this is just horror.


Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Please be respectful of each other and my blog. Rude comments will be deleted.

Thank you for stopping by, hope you are having a blessed day!