Alicia DeFonzo '97 released her first book The Time Left Between Us. The book is a blend of memoir, history, travel, adventure, and oral storytelling, The Time Left between Us bridges the gap between the generation who fought and the generation who has forgotten. Alicia DeFonzo takes an unplanned visit to the Normandy beaches while staying in Paris. She becomes distraught after realizing how little she knows about the war and her grandfather Del’s experiences, which until then had remained largely unspoken.
Across landscapes and lifetimes, Alicia retraces her beloved grandfather’s tour through World War II Europe. The eighty-four-year-old Del recounts stories as an Army combat engineer surviving major campaigns, including Normandy, St. Lo, the Bulge, Hürtgenwald, and Remagen, then liberating concentration camps. In this braided narrative nonfiction, Alicia’s and Del’s childhood parallel in a traditional Italian American family in Philadelphia. Spanning ten years, Alicia’s travels and research take an unexpected detour after she inherits a Nazi Waffen-SS diary from her grandfather, and in her final trip, returns to Germany to confront the diary owner’s family. Their storylines merge when Del undergoes open-heart surgery and Alicia must be the one to safeguard the past.
Both nostalgic and gripping, The Time Left between Us is a meditation on how deeply connected the past is to the present and how the truth—and what we remember —are often fragmented.
Congratulations, Alicia! Bishop Kenny wishes you much success.