Of the mysterious Night Blooming Cereus, Mary Cappello writes: “The flower fell into our neighborhood like a shooting star.” That neighborhood was a working-class suburb of Philadelphia riven by class distinction and haunted by contradiction. In tracing the marks that immigration and assimilation have left on her Italian-American family, Cappello also offers us her family’s unsung art-their gardens, letters, and rosary beads-for the lessons they teach us about desire, creativity, and loss.
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