Teopista: a matriarch's story
Fiercely loyal to the people she loved and terrifying to those who disappointed her, Teopista Marchi Rugani was a force to be reckoned with. Raised in the hills of Tuscany in the late 1880s, Pista gave birth to three children by three different men -- two were brothers and the third was her husband. Juggling all these men, she emigrated to Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the copper mining era ad found life to be just as dramatic in America as it had been in Italy.
Based on the memoirs of Dr. Frank C. Rugani, this book recreates the story of his charismatic grandmother. While the Rugani men worked as struggling tenant farmers in Italy, exploited mining tremors in the Copper Country, and nervous suppliers to rural Michigan bootleggers during Prohibition, Teopista did whatever was required to hold the family together. Readers may be surprised that nearly all of this story is true. It's classification as fiction is due to the need to fill in gaps where information was missing, and the creation of scenes to bring the story to life. The author hopes the story is as much fun to read as it was to write.
Stephanie Nichols Boyer, 2017
paperback, 136 pages, 9 x 6 inches