The Paperback Writer’s Book Review of Anthony Maulucci’s Love And Exile
There is a rare quality in Mr. Maulucci’s writing that rarely surfaces in the writing of today’s authors. He writes sincere prose for others to enjoy, not for a mass market publisher. From the pages of this book a story is formed about young Italian American Wexler Giovanni, and his life as an outcast and refugee. Instead of being drafted, Mr. Giovanni seeks safety and solace in Montreal. There he makes friends with the unlucky Issac, and the talented poet Nicole, among others. He finds love several times, but ultimately with his wife.
This is not just a novel about Montreal, about the Vietnam War, or about coming of age in the sixties. Collectively, it is about the human experience of a young man who wants to make his own way as an author, pushing away college and working for a newspaper. Along the way, others try to use him for their own agendas, or to encourage a life that he does not want to be part of. Wexler remains brave and true to himself, which is an inspiring part of the story.
Love And Exile is timeless in the same way that The Catcher In The Rye was, because young people still experience the same inner turmoil. We still meet at the crossroads of life and make important decisions for ourselves that will affect us forever.
This novel is particularly special because it was written in 1986, and not published until 2016–thirty years later. Reading it felt to me like opening a time capsule put together by a youth who buried it in his parents’ backyard. I became emotionally connected to the story and to Wexler’s life, and his love for his family and dear friends. The last chapters are my favorite, as they highlight his brief return to his native New England to visit his ailing father and to think.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who are in search of something different and meaningful.