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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Portrait In Broken Glass is a work of intellectual and introspective fiction created by author Richard Siciliano. Told in the form of a diary by the central character of the piece, we follow the inner and outer journey of a broken man, Joseph Curcio. As the world is on the verge of the Second World War, Joseph’s environment is already far from ideal. His life as a once-successful intellectual is over, and when he is homeless and alcohol-dependent, he finds a former student who takes pity on him. She is Amanda, who now makes beautiful mosaics from broken glass, and that theme acts as a metaphor for Joseph’s attempts to put his broken life back together and hope for something better than before.
This is both a tragic and uplifting tale, examining how broken people’s lives can become in such a short time when they give up on themselves. I found Joseph’s psyche really interesting to explore through the format of the novel, and the narration was very well constructed on the part of Richard Siciliano, who removes himself from the tale as much as possible. The relationship with Amanda and the connections to her work make this a work worthy of literary praise, and the allegory follows through Joseph’s journey even though we, as an audience, can see its potential flaws. All the same, the ending for our unreliable narrator was compelling and unexpected, and I would certainly recommended Portrait In Broken Glass to any reader looking for an 'unputdownable' adventure.