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Bella Fortuna Paperback – August 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 Original edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758266537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758266538
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

''From the streets of New York to the canals of Venice, Rosanna Chiofalo creates a warm and lively story the reader won't want to see end. Valentina DeLuca is a heroine with intelligence, heart, and courage, the kind of person every woman wants for a dear friend. Time spent with her is a sheer joy.'' --Mary Carter, New York Times bestselling author of The Pub across the Pond

''Go to Venice. Ride a gondola. See St. Mark's square. Chase the pigeons. Then go back to your hotel room overlooking a canal, take out Bella Fortuna, and read. It will make your whole day perfecto.'' --Cathy Lamb, New York Times bestselling author

''An inspiring read about second chances with love after tremendous heartbreak . . . The novel has a pleasant narrative, and the details of relationships and descriptions of Venice are thorough and well written.'' --RT Book Reviews

''Brings the Italian immigrant community and neighborhoods richly to life . . . The tale is charming.'' --Publishers Weekly

''Reading Rosanna Chiofalo's depiction of a modern Italian American family is like digging into a fresh bowl of pasta -- warm, welcome, and satisfying. A deeply felt debut that affirms the importance of friends and family -- Italian-style.'' --Lisa Verge Higgins, author of The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

''Like a gondolier navigating the canals of Venice, Rosanna Chiofalo takes you on a magical ride filled with family and friends, love and loss, heartbreak and happiness. Bella Fortuna is a warm glimpse into Italian American life.'' --Holly Chamberlin, author of Last Summer

''Sometimes tough, sometimes tender, always heartfelt and honest, Bella Fortuna is a lively, finely stitched tale of life and love, family and friendship, and a zest for cose Italiane!'' --Peter Pezzelli, author of Home to Italy --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. After graduating with a BA in English from Stony Brook University, Rosanna knew she wanted to be around books and have a career in writing. For twenty years, she's worked as a Copywriter and Copy Director for several New York City publishing houses. Currently, she is hard at work writing her second novel.

More About the Author

Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. She is the author of Bella Fortuna and Carissima. She lives with her husband in New York City. Visit: www.RosannaChiofalo.com.

Customer Reviews

I loved the story and the characters.
Margaret M. Rago
The hours I spent reading BELLA FORTUNA were the most enjoyable ones I have spent with a book in a long time.
Michele L. Oldenburg
It was like I was transported to Venice.
Rachel Reiners

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Pat Fordyce on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
I received this ARC from Kensington Books for an honest review.

This novel captured my heart and soul. It is set in Astoria, a neighborhood of small shops and homes, in Queens, N.Y. We follow an Italian couple who immigrated to New York from Sicily, both husband and wife trained in tailoring. They have three daughters, and fulfill the dream of opening a bridal shop, after struggling for years. The shop is called Sposa Rosa, the Pink Bride.
Olivia, the hard working woman who owns the shop, lost her husband years ago to cancer. Her daughters, Valentina, Connie and Rita, help her with customers, plus designing and sewing wedding dresses. Valentina is the oldest, weeks away from marrying the man she has loved since she was six.
We meet a delightful cast of characters in Astoria, very much a part of Valentina's childhood and now as a young woman. There are curses, malocchio, (which is the evil eye) tarot readings, and so much love and laughter between these pages. We learn about Olivia's younger years in Sicily, meeting Nicola, her future husband, and a few secrets she keeps totally to herself!
I became so attached to these characters I didn't want the novel to end. Filled with forgiveness and hope , I would recommend this novel to everyone, especially those of us growing up in a family of any ethnicity, with lots of stories to tell.
I fell in love with this book, when I saw a bookmark included with another book to review. It was a picture of a beautiful bridge in Venice, with just a wisp of a vision of a bride. I immediately looked up the book and author, and e-mailed Kensington books begging to read and review it. It has been my pleasure to do so. I only hope Ms.Chiofalo has many more stories to tell!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Krista Johnson on October 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In all fairness to the author, please keep in mind that my review is based on only 'partial book' (I read 40%) but I don't intend to finish it. Here's why:
Firstly, the characters' dialogue/conversations feel overly wordy and unnatural. This book made me realize that sometimes less is definitely more. Second, the storyline doesn't flow well at all like some other books I've read recently of a similar storyline and characters. That brings me to reason three; this book feels like a watered down copy-cat version of other recent best-sellers from an author who is Italian and writes beautifully rich stories about an Italian Family in the custom shoe business. Even the name of the main female protagonist differs only by one vowel...Valentine / Valentina...I mean, really? Whether intentional or not, it felt tacky and I just can't finish it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dianne E. Socci-Tetro TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Bella Fortuna - by Rosana Chiofolo

*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

This was one of the most romantic books I have read so far this year. It is not a novel that mistakes sex for romance ...in fact, there is only one sexual scene and it is hot without being vulgar. This is a debut novel and I see that the author still has some seasoning she needs to do, but for a first -wow - I can't wait to see what Ms Chiafalo will do for an encore!

This is a book of second chances, of close Italian -American families, of love, friendship and enemies. It is also a small peek into the bridal industry and the making of what should be the perfect gown. Set in the ethnic area of Astoria (Queens) New York, we follow a mother, Olivia, and daughter, Valentina, as they fall in love both the first time AND the second time. The story mostly concentrates around Valentina and her upcoming wedding to Michael.

I will not bore you with my synopsis since the perfect one has already been written. I will tell you that Ms Chiofolo has managed to capture that bustling area perfectly and has written some of the most complex and likable characters that I have read in a long time. She has also managed to capture the heartache that comes from losing the one you love to either death or deceit.

I love `happy endings', and as romance readers, many of us are used to them and sometimes take them for granted. However in Ms Chiofolo's novel I wasn't positive I was going to get a happy ending and I didn't even care. The story just captivated me and I would have went anywhere the author chose to take me without even a whimper.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Char Neena on August 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Astoria, NY, Sicily, Venice, Italy - these are dream destinations for me - and I often enjoy novels with these settings. At the same time, I applaud anyone with the gumption to write a book AND succeed in having it published. Unfortunately, the glut of "chick lit" authors we have today doesn't necessarily translate into good, solid, interesting writing.

Bella Fortuna starts off with an interesting, if not original, story line, hinting at future trips to Italy, close knit Italian family drama and romance. Attractive, light summer reading. And then, like so many of today's chick lit writers, Rosanna Chiofalo inundates the reader with overlong explanations of virtually everything, as if readers do not have enough imagination to fill in for themselves. I DO NOT need to read stories that spell out the characters' every thought progression.

Please give us some credit! Give us a few leads, a suggestion of childhood or family history AND TRUST US TO FILL IN THE GAPS ourselves! I got less than halfway through the book and simply wanted to throw it away. It isn't just the author being overly concerned about making sure we know every last detail - it is the absence of good, solid, interesting editing, as well. Hundreds of unnecessary words could have been trimmed from this novel and it would have been a more satisfying story.

Ask yourself, do I enjoy listening to a friend tell a story who knows HOW to tell it? And do I get bored and squirmy with a friend who is long-winded and doesn't know how to tell a good story? This book fits the latter. Good effort - poor editing.
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