It was a family dealing with old values, acceptance and death. Max Desir loved his Italian roots and hearing his mother, Marie, recount tales of the old country. And he loved his American family, his father John a successful self-made businessman in New Jersey. As he came of age, Max discovered something else he loved – men – and met the love of his life in Italy. Now, at age 40, the family is split: Marie and his siblings accept Max and Nick as a stable, long-term couple but his father John does not. When a needlepoint family tree is to be hung at Christmas, it’s too much for John. Then the spectre of death enters as Marie rapidly declines with brain cancer. Loyalties divided, acceptance of family is re-examined.In this beautiful, haunting tale, told in Robert Ferro’s clear, impassioned narrative, he created a classic. “An honest, eloquent and entirely original novel … at once realistic and mythological, intensely personal and public … a triumph,” opined Edmund White. Originally published in 1984, this edition includes a 2019 foreword by fellow author and friend Felice Picano.