Top positive review
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New York to Rome.....
on August 27, 2013
Ms. Chiolfano has done it again. Carissima is a story rich in characters, family secrets and life's lessons in losing and finding love. Set in Astoria, New York and Rome, we meet young and old Italian Americans, trying to find their way in families steeped in Italian history. This novel is about two women, Francesca Donata and Pia Santore there relationship with their sisters, and how this changes their lives.
Francesco Donato is an Italian film star, who has not made a film in ten years, but is still adored by her fans. She has many names she has earned in her films, her least favorite is Dolci Labbra , Sweet Lips, and her favorite Carissima, Dearest One. She has been a recluse for years and is now coming out of hiding with her bodyguards to visit Astoria, New York. Her arrival is cloaked in mystery, and for several days it is just a rumor that she is even there. Neighbors gather daily, morning till night hoping to get a glimpse of Signorina Donato.
Pia Santore is a young woman from California visiting her aunt in Astoria for the summer. She has dreams of being a journalist, that were stalled, but she now hopes are back on track. Pia has an internship at Profile magazine and is anticipating soaking up all the knowledge she can while there, then returning to California and her family. She has such high hopes for this experience. " But harsh reality has set in over the course of the past few days as it becomes more apparent that Colin wants a secretary rather than an editorial intern whom he can mentor."
Suddenly the news breaks that it is indeed Signorina Donato visiting the beautiful , but aging mansion of Signora Tesca, down the street from Pia's aunt's home. Pia is now one of the many neighbors standing outside for a glimpse of the infamous film star. If she can just get a photo, or a word, she could take it to Colin and convince him to let her write a story!
It is so delightful to encounter the neighbors and characters from Bella Fortuna. Olivia De Luca and her bridal shop, Antoniella's Bakery owned by Pia's aunt, and so many other familiar names. I could almost smell the Biscotti, and other delectable delights from the bakery.
I have had the privilege of visiting Rome, and Ms. Chiofalo's descriptions brought it all to life for me again. I have my own memories of throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain.
I loved this novel filled with people , emotions and wonderful history, and I highly recommend it. I turned the last page of this sweeping novel enthralled with this beautiful story, but sad that it had ended.
I received this novel from the author for an honest review.