Winner of an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 30th Annual Self-Published Book Awards
In a country that can’t seem to close the divide between Black and white Americans, Dianne and Ronald’s enduring love shows how. In the 1940s, Liuzzi Hagan’s father, Frank, an Italian-American, met Ruth, an Australian of Irish descent, in Ryde, Australia, where he was stationed during World War II.
They married and settled in Albany, New York, where Frank’s family refused to accept a foreigner into their fold. Much like our country today, the resulting division, vitriol, and isolation were overwhelming for the couple, and their relationship disintegrated into arguments and alcoholism.
Thirty years later, in 1976, their daughter, Dianne, met Ronald, who is Black, during their freshman year of college at Syracuse University. Against external judgments, threats of violence, and her family’s strong disapproval, they fell deeply in love. Unlike her parents, Dianne and Ronald found solace, equality, acceptance, and a peaceful reconciliation in their relationship–a lesson for America on healing the racial divide.
Liuzzi Hagan artfully weaves the stories of two generations, who struggle against convention, with dreams, commentary about the state of systemic racism and race relations in America, and an intimate portrayal of fractured family relations.
Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Award
“At its heart, this is a beautiful love story.”
— Kirkus Reviews
Dedicated to the mothers of the Black Lives Matter Movement, and set among the stories of unarmed black men, women, and children who were victims of excessive use of force and racial bias, Liuzzi Hagan’s memoir is a candid, emotionally intimate account of the devastating personal effects of politically motivated and systematized racism in America.
She is white; her husband is black. They have mixed-race twin daughters. Their relationship spans over forty years. As both a witness to and a target of racial bias, her stories, ranging from microaggressions to the truly terrifying, are told in vivid and affecting detail. Interwoven throughout the stories are appeals for empathy and insight, as well as suggestions on how to dismantle systemic racism and change the race narrative to make America safer, egalitarian, and a place where black lives matter.
This is a story of shock, outrage, heartbreak, forbearance, love, and hope for her family, for the families who lost loved ones to racially motivated violence, and for America. It includes discussion questions for classrooms and book clubs.
“…Told with vivid emotion and will spark discussion and high-level thinking among readers…”
“[Liuzzi Hagan] challenges her readers to think, and more importantly, to act differently…”
“I found healing in these pages.”
“Liuzzi Hagan’s storytelling style is captivating. I am recommending the book to everyone…” “I was led to examine my thoughts and assumptions on race. The kind of reflection that [Liuzzi Hagan] encourages is soul-enriching and honest.”
“…Outrage powers some of this book, as does fear, as does hope… a call for empathy, understanding and discussion of race founded in goodwill…”
— The BookLife Prize Reader