Island of Myths by Michael J. Sodaro


THIS HISTORICAL EPIC centers on four brothers and sisters who become separated in childhood and end up in different places. From World War II to the onset of the 21st century, they are embroiled in the main conflicts of their generation: wars; racial and religious strife; international crime and terrorism. They are born in Sicily in the 1940s – a time of fierce contention over the island’s future. When the mafia breaks up their family, Salvatore Troiano is adopted by long-lost relatives in New York. But he is determined to find his missing loved ones and return to Casa Trinacria, the idyllic home of his birth. “Sicily is an island of myths,” his grandfather tells him, claiming their family stems from survivors of the Trojan War. His brother Odisseo is transported to Hong Kong and raised by refugees from communism – one Russian, the other Chinese—as their “Cold War baby.” Odisseo’s twin sister Elena struggles with her racial identity as the adopted daughter of a Black couple in Washington, D.C. Ginestra sails to Israel with her adoptive parents and grows up on a kibbutz. When she falls in love with a Palestinian, she defies the country’s greatest taboo. As the decades unfold, the far-flung siblings learn that myths are inseparable from social and political realities.  Sicily is not the world’s only island of myths.

MICHAEL J. SODARO was a professor of political science and international affairs at the George Washington University from 1977 to 2020.