Bernardi shapes novel from Italian history
Ed Bernardi of Lake Forest has written "The Reluction Patriot" based on his family's history living through the fascism of Benito Mussolini in Italy. | Michelle LaVigne ~ Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 13, 2012 2:12PM
LAKE FOREST — Edward Bernardi, the son of Italian immigrants, has written “The Reluctant Patriot,” a piece of historical fiction based on the real-life experiences of Italians who lived through the fascism of Benito Mussolini.
“The Great Depression was nothing compared to Italy from 1920 to 1945,” Bernardi, 82, said.
The Lake Forest author is a Highwood native and former Exmoor Country Club caddy who went to Northwestern University on a Chick Evans scholarship.
A display for “The Reluctant Patriot” can be viewed at Lake Forest Book Store, 680 N. Western Ave., where Bernardi will give a reading at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Q. How long have you lived in Lake Forest?
A. Since 1971.
Q. Why did you pick this town?
A. I was born in Alice Home, Lake Forest’s original hospital, so I’ve always had ties to the community. I love it. I am from Highwood, and Lake Forest was where successful people went. We found a beautiful house on Westminster. The house sold us on the area.
Q. What about Lake Forest makes you proud?
A. The people. It is a friendly town, the shops are friendly. I shop in town as much as possible. It is a great town to stroll around. I love the library and entertainment.
Q. What has changed in Lake Forest since you moved here?
A. More people, more traffic, younger people and younger traffic. People are more focused on protecting the open lands, which are an absolute treasure. More people getting involved with this makes the town even more dear.
Q. What inspired you to write “The Reluctant Patriot”?
A. I had amassed a lot of information on the times of Benito Mussolini and fascism in Italy. I wanted to share that information with my grandchildren and other family members.
Q. What got you interested in that time in history?
A. I am the son of Italian immigrants. My wife and I, both our families are from Italy and the rest of the family is still in Italy. I interviewed a lot of my parents’ generation and others my age about what they went through.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. Convincing my wife to marry me. She’s fabulous. She’s one beautiful woman.
Q. What are you reading?
A. “Unbroken,” it’s a story about a fellow who runs in the Olympics. It’s by the same author as “Seabiscuit.”