(My review on goodreads)
This is the allegedly true account of an honest and hard working family in Sicily in the early 20th century whose lives and livelihood were destroyed by the mafia in connivance with the corrupt and ineffectual state. The family, through their persistent hard work, had managed to build successful businesses, and refused to pay the mafia extortion money. In retaliation the mafia threatened them repeatedly, burned their farm buildings, attempted to steal their livestock, damaged their orchards, and killed or attempted to kill more than one family member. Still, the Sacco family refused to give in. Eventually the mafia changed tactics and began to use the state apparatus to their benefit, by threatening or bribing people to charge the Saccos with serious crimes. Although the police and carabinieri knew full well what was happening they claimed that their hands were tied and that they had to pursue the charges. Corrupt or intimidated judges went along with the charade. In the end the core of the Sacco family were on the run for years from both the mafia and from the state.