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Local History

Discover the beautiful towns of Westerly, RI and Stonington, CT.

Virtual Afternoon Book Discussion

"The seven or eight deaths of Stella Fortuna" by Juliet Grames

From Calabria to Connecticut: a sweeping family saga about sisterhood, secrets, Italian immigration, the American dream, and one woman's tenacious fight against her own fate

For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella's childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents--moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella's own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.

In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity--beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life's harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.


We meet on Zoom the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Please contact Caroline at cbadowski@westerlylibrary.org for meeting details.

New members welcome!

Upcoming Book Discussion Titles

January 2021

“The Henna Artist” by Alka Joshi

February 2021

“This Tender Land” by William Kent Krueger

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