My paternal grandfather.
His personal diary, written in Aramaic, told of his belief in God and family and inspired me to write this novel. The translation of his diary which begins the story of Condemn Not My Children is my tribute to this gentle and holy man. The Maronite Cross tattooed on his hand bore witness to his belief in God and his devotion to the Maronite Church.
Known as 'Fuffa' to his grandchildren he is remembered with much love and respect.
Jacob and Eva.
My Lebanese paternal grandparents.
The arranged marriage of Jacob, a Maronite student priest and Eva the niece of the Patriarch of Lebanon was as fruitful as their devotion to God and family. They were devoted to each other and lived their lives in prayer, raising twelve healthy children.
Millicent and Alfredo.
My Italian maternal grandparents
Alfredo, as a child was the spoilt youngest member of his family who seldom went to school. Doted on by his mother and regarded as an adorable larrikin by his siblings, he matured into a hedonistic adult with a propensity for alcohol. His predilection to voyeurism was an intolerable annoyance to his wife and daughters.
Millicent seemed to have been born miserable. Devoid of maternal instincts, she bemoaned her marriage and detested her husband. Millicent was adept at marshalling her daughters to a constant nagging of her husband, which exasperated her inarticulate spouse to bouts of violent behaviour fuel by the demon alcohol.
Joseph and Dorina.
Dorina a spinster, unable to marry Phillip the father of her child refused to contemplate adoption. Joseph, Phillips older brother and 20 years her senior offered marriage.
The union was doomed due to the resentment of Joseph's family and her chronic bi-polar disorder.
Joseph, a kind and gentle man, much like his father Jacob, remained devoted to Dorina throughout his life.