The Valente family has left their Sicilian village of Catania, where they have been living at the foot of a menacing volcano, to fulfill their dreams in America. They settle in a coal patch town in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, nestled in the glorious Laurel Mountains. Paul Valente age thirteen, first generation American, emerges as the provider for the family of ten after his father's crippling mining accident. Struggling to find his identity as a man and a miner in a brutal underground world, Paul battles prejudice inside and outside the mine. He is strong, with a passion for the American lifestyle of flashy clothes, cars, and jazz music, which his father cannot understand. Little Catania is a story of heroes and scoundrels, both men and women-a saga of two families-the close-knit Valentes and the floundering Mianis-that delves into love/hate relationships as the Miani family, delicately tethered together by feelings of parental abandonment, struggles for acceptance from a father living in a world of his own mind's creation. A chronicle of life's events, goals, and tragedies as mining families face their challenges in stride, Little Catania pays homage to miners, the forgotten heroes of an industrial war.