How to Win a Chestnut Fight By Albert Dell’Apa

Title: How to Win a Chestnut Fight

Author: Albert Dell’Apa

Date: 2010

How to Win a Chestnut Fight is an adult ‘coming of age’ story  The Desanctis family is called together to be with their father the stalwart family patriarch suddenly facing his own mortality. Andy, the successful kid brother and his brother Rick return to face their own personal demons.

The small town ‘ghosts’ of their past are reminiscent of any small town childhood of Small Town, Anywhere.  Andy and his brother Rick’s childhood foibles and indiscretions haunt them into their adulthood. The shame and fear of the memories and the potential consequences have kept Andy away for many, many years. Now he is back and those memories hit him squarely between the eyes.

Dell’Apa has done a good job of making us sympathetic to the three DeSanctis siblings; however, much of the story is merely delivered to the reader. The author, while painting a clear picture of all the characters gives us much of the back story in lengthy passages where the reader would have preferred to have the story unfold through dialogue. The story is good, rich with details, and worthy of the read. The journey that Andy takes back to find “home” and to understand and embrace its true meaning is told poignantly and convincingly.  How to Win a Chestnut Fight is a solid first effort by Albert Dell’ Apa.

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