It s been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America That was the last time she would ever see her parents, her sisters and brothers everything she knew and loved in the village of Santa Cecilia, Italy She locked those memories away, as if Santa Cecilia stopped existing the very day she left Now, with children and grandchildren of herIt s been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America That was the last time she would ever see her parents, her sisters and brothers everything she knew and loved in the village of Santa Cecilia, Italy She locked those memories away, as if Santa Cecilia stopped existing the very day she left Now, with children and grandchildren of her own, a successful family run restaurant, and enough daily drama at home, Maddalena sees no need to open the door to the past and let the emotional baggage and unmended rifts of another life spill out But Prima, Antonio and Maddalena s American born daughter, was raised on the lore of the Old Country And as she sees her parents aging, she hatches the idea to take the entire family back to Italy hoping to reunite Maddalena with her estranged sister and let her parents see their homeland one last time It is an idea that threatens to tear the Grasso family apart, until fate deals them some unwelcome surprises and their journey home becomes a necessary voyage.Writing with warmth and grace, Chris Castellani delivers a seductive feast for readers Beautiful Country is an incandescent novel about sacrifice and hope, loss and love, myth and memory.
All This Talk of Love It s been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America That was the last time she would ever see her parents her sisters and brothers everything she knew and loved in
Full disclosure I m a friend of Christopher s, though despite our once attending a second tier university we both have fabulous careers now mine consists of critiquing literature professionally, so if I didn t like my friend s book, I wouldn t include it on my list.I loved A Kiss from Maddalena and liked The Saint of Lost Things, but All This Talk of Love is even better It was a tough assignment, talking of love without getting sentimental, but this book manages to pull it off, showing the push [...]
I am someone who sticks bits of paper in pages as I read so I can go back and reread passages, possibly to record words or ideas at the end While reading All This Talk of Love, I could not stop to rip up my scraps of paper that would have been too much of an interruption.The opening pages, my introduction to the Grasso family, pulled me right into the mother and father s corner, Maddalena and Antonio A mother who speaks to her son in graduate school in Boston every night at 11 01 about their sha [...]
Maddalena years in Santa Cecila Italy is filled with hurt and painful memories.Leaving her hometown behind her after marrying was the best decision that she ever made Antonio, her husband feels the same way, thinking that it was best that they leave the past behind them and restart their future It has been over a decade since the last time they been home and they plan to keep it that way Frankie a dear child of the couple, is an introverted shy man that prefers to books than to party with strang [...]
All this talk of Love by Christopher Castellani is perhaps the best in his series inspired by his family s experiences We are following generations of an Italian immigrant family that settled in Wilmington DE, built a business, the tensions and struggles of the children of these immigrants as they make their own ways and some insights into the next generation The major characters, the father, mother, son and daughter are well developed, while we get strong hints of the other people in their live [...]
This novel struck me in a way that I can t quite explain I really enjoyed it, nearly loved it the only thing holding me back from loving it was that, at times, I felt it moved a bit slowly But I liked the plot members of the Grasso family each having at least one difficulty they need to come to terms with, both internally and externally and I felt the characters were really well developed and consistent throughout the novel Maybe the book struck me because I connected with each of the characters [...]
While I was glad to get back to the Grasso family, this is a very sad book, and I felt a bit cheated having missed out on the past 40 or so years of their lives So much has happened since The Saint of Lost Things life, death, people have grown up and changed But Maddalena has never been able to quite heal the wounds that come from being taken from her beloved family and Italian village and there is never any certainty that she truly loves Antonio the way she once loved, in Italy Antonio takes a [...]
Although this book has received glowing reviews in the critical review magazines read by librarians, I found it somewhat of a letdown It chronicles the story of a married couple who came to the States from Italy and their first generation American children Antonio Grasso married Maddalena after he returned to Italy and viewed the available daughters from her family She left the love of her life behind in Italy to move to America with him She cut off all contact with her family back in Italy whil [...]
I received a copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.I really enjoyed this book Be advised though, this is the third book in a trilogy by this author I wish I had known that going in However, the story is strong enough to stand on its own.That being said, this was a very well written, sweeping story of an elderly Italian immigrant couple and their two adult children.There are many heartbreaks revealed along the way The story bounces between the parents, Maddalena and A [...]
This is an interesting book that delves into the psyche of a few of the main characters I especially like the musings of Antonio Grasso and his feeling for his wife of 50 years His constant acts of love for her, when all she thinks about is an old love from Italy, are amazing Antonio fell in love with Maddalena the first time he saw her, and that love never falters I did not like the younger son, Frankie He is a weak and dependent individual The only daughter, Prima, must face her own demons whe [...]
Castellani has a wonderfully warm and sensitive way of characterizing older people This quality really made this book shine for me I will always remember the older couple, Antonio and Magdellena, and their final trip to their hometown in Italy I wished this part of the story happened earlier in the book and lasted longer At times the beginning of the book was a bit choppy and hard to follow.The younger characters, Frankie a graduate student Birch, his sex crazed, uncaring and unethical advisor m [...]
My favorite book in the Grasso family trilogy This book was haunting and melancholy and funny and true This book follows Maddalena in the last days of her life We meet her three children and learn about them as well Antonio becomes even complex and fascinating as a character There are a lot of secrets in this family, and regarding a few of them, the reader is the only person privy to every part of the story A wonderful wrap up to Castellani s series He s a talented writer and it feels like a b [...]
It is interesting to me that a gay male novelist chose to write a novel about identity, belonging, and community arguably without a gay male main character The characters are not drawn richly enough to consistently keep my attention The authors end note succinctly talks about his personal experience on a family trip to Rome The story might make a memoir stronger than this fiction.
I really wanted to love this book, but at times I got tired of the endless family dynamics and the binds of love they talked of I liked the daughter until the big event but after that not much was heard from her The book is well written and moves well until the last go around and gets a bit bogged down.
Finished this book tonight Perhaps I should have read the others first I found the characters harsh and unlikeable Depressing and sad, especially Prima and Frankie I did like the love story of Maddalena and Antonio.
The reviews of this book made it seem interesting than I found it, although I still finished it It was not my favorite too much like watching someone else s family life with no good conclusion you just stopped watching I wouldn t read it again.
Heartwarming tale of an Italian American family, with all its foibles, frustrations, loyalties, love.
I could relate to this book in so many ways Good read for 2nd generation Italian Americans who are really American Italians It
A difficult book to read, what with tears in my eyes the whole time Buy several and give them to your family.
Somewhat uneven and overwritten at times, so I really had to push myself to finish Characters were likable sense of place and emotion were well done Liked it.
I enjoyed the book but found it somewhat sentimental and maudlin.The codependent Italian family has been done to death think The Godfather without the mafia There is an event that casts a pall on each member of the family in different ways but the genesis of that story line is left vaguely blank and unsatisfactorily explained.I do think Mr Castellani has a deft way with story of the ageing parents, that I found quite tender.I enjoyed but did not love this book.
I ve read one of Christopher s works before and found it quite good so, I thought I d give this one a try I did like the premise of the book itself however, I felt as though the storyline of Maddalena and Frankie s relationship was a bit taboo of mother son relationships, making it seem a bit too exaggerated Also, I wasn t too keen on the character of Prima I felt as though she never really had a storyline to begin with, and seemed to be lost throughout the main plot itself I wished that would [...]
The love in the story revolves around an immigrant family wanting to return to the Old Country to see relatives before the mother sinks into Alzheimer s to the point that the trip won t mean anything Good family dynamics in the story but writing didn t impress me.
The sadness of individual hurts climax in the this story about an Italian American family dealing with the matriarch who suffers from Alzheimer s,
Loved the book A poignant tribute to the messy lives of family.
I liked this novel, third in the Maddalena series, well enough It brought closure to the story of Maddalena and Antonio Grasso It was also incredibly sad.
Kept me engrossed in this family saga and rooting for the success of each of the characters Mostly, it reminds me there is perfection in all of our imperfect families.
Salve a tutti ragazzi,ho appena finito di leggere Tutto quello che pensiamo quando parliamo d a di Christofer Castellani donatomi in anteprima dalla Newton Compton Il libro ci racconta di Maddalena e Antonio, due italiani emigrati in America per lavoro Maddalena ha dovuto sposare Antonio per volere dellafamiglia abbandonando per sempre l uomo di cui era innamorata, Antonio, insieme a suo fratello Mario, ha un ristorante italiano che permette una bella vita a tutta la sua famiglia l Al di l Un gi [...]
Tutto quello che pensiamo quando parliamo d a racconta la storia di una famiglia italo americana.Antonio e Maddalena Grasso sono partiti per l America subito dopo il matrimonio, si sono stabiliti nel Delaware e hanno aperto un ristorante che diventato l attivit della famiglia La vita in America ha riservato alla coppia molte gioie ma anche dolori I loro figli, Prima e Frankie, non sono mai stati in Italia, per questo che Prima decide di regalare a tutta la famiglia un viaggio in Italia alla scop [...]