A rollercoaster coming-of-age story.
The people who shape us, and the influence they have on us is something which we probably only realise when we look back over our lives. There can be no doubt that strong parenting, and the ideals which our family, culture, and the neighbourhood in which we live affect us, either consciously or subconsciously as we grow up.
In this incredible story, which was a finalist in the Readers Favorite Award, the author has written a spellbinding coming-of-age story.
The protagonist, Danny Rorro or Domino as he is known to his childhood friends, is a loveable rogue, a prankster and mischief maker. He lives in Queens, in the neighbourhood his Sicilian mother has grown up in, and he idolises his Italian father who is a musician. His life is good, until the Italian neighbourhood is taken over by the Spanish. Then, Danny quickly discovers that life will never be the same again.
After trouble between the two factions escalates at his school, Danny suffers a savage beating and he ends up in hospital. Distraught, his parents, doing what they think is best, move house and change his school, still Queens but a different neighbourhood. The impact the beating has on him, and the resulting damage to the relationship he has with his father is catastrophic. Resentful, argumentative and extremely happy, Danny is reacting as only children know how, yet it has to stop. After discussion it is decided boarding school is the answer, and Hamden Academy seems just what he needs, especially when he falls in love on the first day with the beautiful Brenda Devine. In his rollercoaster years at this sports obsessed academy, in his own way Danny makes a difference, standing up for what he feels is right, making plenty of blunders, having conflicts with other pupils, and having bumbling attempts at romance along the way.
Throughout this fast paced, exciting story I found myself going through a myriad of emotions. As a mother I felt protective of him and, yet as a parent of a son I saw his parents’ side of things.
In conclusion, this book was a real joy to read, as I watched this young vulnerable boy evolve into the young man he became, overcoming hurdles, achieving more than he could have imagined, and surviving boarding school.
Highly recommended as a wonderful read for all ages.
About the Author:
Andrew Cotto is the award-winning author of three novels. He has written for The New York Times, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, Parade, Maxim, The Huffington Post, Salon, Conde Nast Traveler, Italy magazine and more. Andrew has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Author’s Website: https://andrewcotto.com/
About the Book:
The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and – most significantly – the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as “Domino.” With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming-of-age at Hamden Academy. This fast paced and powerful story is rich with conflict, humor, tenderness and music—just like life, especially when coming of age.
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