La Tragedia is the personal and moving story of the Lombardo family who immigrated to the United States from Italy in the early 20th century. After settling in the bedroom community of New Rochelle, New York, tragedy strikes. Filomena, a homemaker is accused of interfering in the marriage between Maria Grillo, a 17 year old girl recently arrived from Italy and Michael Costa. Michael and his family accuse Filomena of using the evil eye to turn Maria against him and destroy his engagement. Threats and menacing letters follow and she begins to carry a gun. Filomena out searching for the jilted lover shoots and kills his father. Was it cold blooded murder or self defense? She is jailed and charged with first degree murder. Will she be the first woman to be sent to the electric chair in 25 years or will the love of her family help to acquit her?
An evocative and emotionally nuanced memoir recounted lovingly and filled with observations of the Italian immigrant experience.