Unto the Daughters is the story of a secret guarded so fiercely for nine decades that members of Tintori’s family died without ever learning of it. Unto the Daughters began with an obliterated entry on a passport - discovered during a genealogical quest - and a reluctant revelation of an ancestor who was so systematically eradicated from her family tree that many relatives born since her murder still have no inkling that she ever existed.
Karen Tintori thought she knew her family tree.
Her grandmother Josie had emigrated from Sicily with her parents at the turn of the century. They settled in Detroit, and with Josie’s nine siblings, worked to create a home for themselves away from the poverty and servitude of the old country. Their descendants were proud Italian-Americans. But Josie had a sister nobody spoke of. Her name was Frances, and at age sixteen she fell in love with a young barber. Her father wanted her to marry an older don in the neighborhood mafia---a marriage that would give his sons a leg up in the mob.
But Frances eloped with her barber, and when she returned home a married woman, her fate was sealed. Even eighty years and two generations later, Frances was not spoken of, and her memory was suppressed.
Unto the Daughters is a historical mystery and family story that unwraps the many layers of family, honor, memory, and fear to find an honor killing in turn-of-the-century Detroit. Tracing the history and insular world of Italian immigrants back to the old country, Karen Tintori shows what they came from, what they hoped for, and how the hopes and dreams of America fell far short for her great-aunt Frances.
Unto the Daughters is Karen Tintori's sixth publication and her second solo book.