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Relative Strangers tells the true story of Frank Cicero's immigrant Italian grandparents. Divided by religion, in their first decades in Chicago they lived and worshipped in separate churches—Presbyterian and Roman Catholic—less than two blocks apart in one of Chicago's largest Italian neighborhoods. For thirty years their paths never crossed until the author's parents met, fell in love and wed secretly over the opposition of both families. The author grew up with little understanding of the ancient origins of his maternal grandparents' Protestant faith that marked the keen differences between the two sides of his family. Relative Strangers details his search for their religious roots in Northern Italy and Sicily, their immigration, and the first decades of their lives in Chicago.

Relative Strangers: Italian Protestants in the Catholic World
by Frank Cicero Jr.
Academy Chicago Publishers, June 2011
310 pages, illustrated, $32.50, ISBN: 978-0-89733-615-4
Available in Hardcover edition and eBook format