“The Greatest Generation” was in full bloom during the enigmatic decade of the fifties. In northern New Jersey, The Newark Star Ledger on the doorstep every morning was bringing changing news as that pastoral period came to an end.
A blue-collar ethnic family saga evolves that takes you on an epic journey through unfulfilled dreams, with spiritual forks in every road. In the shadows lurk glamorous alternatives of gangland activities and the allure of the entertainment business. But it was a legendary high school football game that truly signaled winds of change would be rushing in. An outstanding athlete and young man, Frank Bonaducci made a decision in that rivalry that would affect people’s lives forever. Surrounding him is his family, as well as a menagerie of unforgettable characters—from Bloomfield Avenue in Newark, to the Silver Lake section of Belleville, to Nutley’s Park Oval. They roam the pages of this touching story, teaching life-long lessons. Their roles craft a tapestry of life, creating a yearning in our hearts for these days gone by. Every one should have an uncle like "Petee 5 Corners" and an Aunt Bella who danced across imaginary stages as "Bella LaStarr".
Each chapter reads like a short story that will touch your heart and soul. The book depicts frustrations of coming of age and traditional rights of passage that honor family traditions . . . more than the family members themselves. It won’t take long to learn . . . that when you look back, . . . you should glance, not stare.
In his first novel, Joseph Rocco Cervasio escorts us through New Jersey’s fabled Essex County in a way that will make Bad News on the Door Step . . . the good news you are seeking. A demanded public speaker, Cervasio has tested throughout the country the stories that have evolved into the tales of this fiction. And you will react the same way his audiences have over the years--you’ll laugh and cry and say, . . . "no way". Writing with compassion and spiritual discernment that penetrate the wonder of these times, Cervasio takes you from 1959 to the present. From an Italian American feast during New Years Eve at Grandpa Joe’s, to the end zone of a football field, to Rahway State Prison, to a hot autumn afternoon at the Five Corners of Fifth Street and Bloomfield Avenue, to the glamor of Havana; you are bound to find a familiar character or even family member, . . . particularly if you are from Jersey!
When Buddy Holley, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper crashed in a snow-covered cornfield in Iowa on February 3, 1959, they became the final ingredient to launch the Bonaducci family into a trek every reader will cherish. Witness the battle between self-sacrifice and selfish lusts, as the kingdoms of modest middle class living and mob affiliation collide headon.
Ten years in the making, Bad News on the Door Step is a labor of love that introduces Joseph Rocco Cervasio as a consumate storyteller, passionate about changing people’s lives for the better.