Gina Maguire will discuss her book It Was Fate: A War, a Massacre, a Romance on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 11 a.m. at the Long Beach Island branch of the Ocean County Library in Surf City. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
A Barnegat Township resident, Maguire said the book is about her grandfather, Nick Venturella, who served in the Army during World War II. She said he entrusted his photos, letters, and a narrative of his life to the author, who compiled them to give a personal and historical perspective of his experiences.
She said her grandfather, who was born in Brooklyn, saw combat duty in Europe while serving with the 102nd Infantry Division, also known as the Ozark Division.
“Readers will applaud the service and sacrifices of these soldiers and recoil at the atrocities they encountered during their slog through Germany,” said Maguire.
After being discharged from the service in 1946, he worked as a printer. He died in1989.
“The biggest challenge was going through crates of letters he had written while overseas,” said Maguire, an adjunct professor of gerentology at Stockton University. “It took a long time, but through much of that I was able to piece his story together.”
Copies of the 170-page book will be for sale. To register for the program, call the branch at 609-494-2480.