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Dancing on Sunday Afternoons [Kindle Edition]

Linda Cardillo
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Reading letters written to her grandmother decades before, Cara Serafini finally learns the great secret, the triumph, of Giulia's life--the love she shared with her first husband, Paolo.

It's a love that began when Giulia left the Italian village of her birth and came to New York, where Paolo Serafini captured her heart...and took her dancing on Sunday afternoons.

And as Cara discovers, it's a love that's never ended--and never will.



Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Cara has a busy life in Manhattan running her catering business and is looking forward to two weeks off with her family when she learns that her grandmother Giulia is in the hospital in Italy. The only one in the family who speaks Italian, Cara must go help. Her grandmother has always been an enigma to Cara, and Giulia's request for a cigar box perplexes her until she reads the old letters it contains. Soon the novel flashes back to Giulia's small-town life in Italy and her journey to America, where she meets Paolo, the love of her life. After living with her successful brother and his wife in Mt. Vernon, New York, gentle and intellectual Paolo provides an outlet for Giulia that her family does not understand and that sustains her even after his death. Based on her own family history, Cardillo's beautiful love story will be cherished by readers. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 218 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Everlasting (February 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000NJL7ZK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Magic January 30, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Cardillo weaves a web of fiction, based on her grandparents real life love letters. Her characters are wonderful and I could picture the entire story as it unfolds. The writing is smooth, tight and vivid. The author captures the early 20th century mood in both Italy and Mt. Vernon, New York and has obviously done her research well. I recommend it highly!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My favorite romance so far this year March 16, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS by Linda Cardillo

March 16, 2007

Amazon rating 4/5

"Dancing on Sunday Afternoons is the first in the new Everlasting Love line from Harlequin. This historical romance is set mainly in the early 1900s, when thousands of immigrants arrived in America to start a new life.

In the present day, Cara Serafini's ailing grandmother gives her a set of letters that tell the tale of Giulia Serafini's life with her first husband, Paolo. They take the reader from Italy - where Giulia grows up amidst a large Italian family, complete with domineering grandmother - to the heart of 1900s New York. The grandmother's love helps shape Giulia, a girl known to be rebellious and hard to control. Life changes dramatically when her parents decide to ship Giulia and her two sisters to America to live with her eldest brother Claudio, who defied his parents by moving to America to start a new life.

Giulia was passionate and willful. In a time when girls were taught to be demure and shy, she was quite the opposite. In Italy she met boyfriends secretly at dances and alone in the fields. In America, she also caught the eye of several young men. Roberto was one, and another was Paolo, Claudio's business partner and good friend. It is their romance and great love that is chronicled in the letters that Giulia presents to her granddaughter Cara - the bulk of the novel centers on Giulia." - Complete review at BookLoons - M. Lofton

This was such a wonderful romance! So far it's been my favorite book in this new series of books by Harlequin. I have a feeling none of the successive books are going to match in quality and depth as this one. It has an "epic" feel to it, telling the tale of Giulia Serafini, from her early years in Italy and then her new life in America. Those who love historical romances will surely love DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS. Tissues will be needed.
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4.0 out of 5 stars warm family drama February 10, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Guilia D'Orazio thinks back over her life especially her two husbands. The presence of her second spouse Salvatore who died over three decades ago is everywhere in her home and her garden, her first husband Paolo left nothing not even a photo. Whereas Salvatore even when he was dying took simple pleasure with his offspring and his first granddaughter Cara Serrafini, Paolo had no children. Though she loved the warm comforting Salvatore, Guilia thinks of Paolo while lying in her bed that she shared with her second husband.

When the family matriarch breaks her hip, her married granddaughter Cara, a Manhattan based caterer, who speaks fluent Italian, comes from America to Italy to help her paternal nana heal though that means leaving her husband and kids behind in Jersey. In Avellino, Italy Guilia shares with Cara the only legacy that Paolo left her, a cigar box filled with letters of love and troubles that remind the younger member of her own life for Nana remembers how her beloved Paolo took her DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS in New York that for the enchanting moment washed away their woes.

This is a warm family drama whose prime characters (Nana and her granddaughter) and the support cast as seen through the eyes of the lead females make for a delightful poignant tale. The story line focuses on the letters, which gives it a sense of historical perspective, but also remains anchored in the present as Cara cares for her beloved nana while paralleling her relationship to that of her grandmother. Readers will enjoy Linda Cardillo's fine novel of how love can come in so many different ways.

Harriet Klausner
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5.0 out of 5 stars a romance, yes - but much more March 29, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Plenty of passion for Giulia and Paolo, but this is more than a love story, and very well written - vivid scenes in Southern Italy and Mount Vernon, NY at the turn of the century that really come alive. Giulia's defiance in choosing who she will love and marry is part of her larger resistance to living a scripted life under the direction of her parents in Italy, and her brother Claudio in America. Drawing on the influences of both her earthy, healer grandmother and her elegant, ambitious mother, Giulia develops the strength to stand up for herself and live with the consequences of her decisions.

The story is brutal at times; there is both domestic violence and the violence of a crowd, children are lost at birth, and loved ones perish from untreatable infections; economic hardship is a deciding reality. Through her life experiences, Giulia leaves a lasting legacy for her extended family, better even than the wealth and comfort that her sisters achieve: holding out for true love, the strength of enduring the unendurable, and best of all, the love letters that Paolo wrote to Giulia so many years ago.
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More About the Author


Linda Cardillo is the author of the critically acclaimed novel DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, winner of the 2008 Maggie Award for Long Contemporary Fiction. Her other works of fiction include novellas in the anthologies THE VALENTINE GIFT and A MOTHER'S HEART, and the Amazon Short "Victory Parade."

Linda graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with a degree in American literature. After working in publishing as an editor of college textbooks in history and the social sciences, she earned an MBA at Harvard Business School at a time when only 15% of the class were women. Armed with her Harvard degree, she managed the circulation of a magazine during its successful start-up, founded a catering business and then built a career as the author of several works of nonfiction, from articles in The New York Times to books on marketing and corporate policy.

She later studied with Jill McCorkle at the New England Writers' Workshop and Julia Alvarez at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and then went on to teach creative writing at Drew University and the Hilltop Writing Retreat before launching Harlequin's Everlasting Love series with her debut novel, DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS.

The Chicago Tribune called DANCING ON SUNDAY AFTERNOONS, a "superbly nuanced, emotionally rich tale of one woman's journey from turn-of-the-century Italy to America...which...beautifully blends women's fiction, romance and historical fiction into one unforgettable story." The novel was included in a bibliography of the immigrant experience created for The Big Read (a program of the National Endowment for the Arts) along with works by Isabel Allende, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Munro, Susan Sontag and Amy Tan. Her most recent work of fiction, the novella "A Daughter's Journey," has been described as a "rich and evocative story...very well told."

Linda's next book, ACROSS THE TABLE, returns to her exploration of growing up Italian in America, with its focus on the Dante family of Boston's North End. It is scheduled for release in June 2010. She lives in western New England with her husband, her childhood piano and her mother's recipes.



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