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Italian Lessons Paperback – October 1, 2007

4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Pezzelli (Francesca's Kitchen; Every Sunday; etc.), brings his fans a light if sometimes trite story of two lovelorn men who form an unlikely friendship. Recent college graduate Carter Quinn has fallen in love with Elena, a beautiful woman with whom he has had little more than a conversation in which he learned she was from a small town in Italy. Carter has the somewhat unrealistic dream of traveling to Italy to pursue his newfound love. Not knowing the language, Carter turns to Giancarlo Rosa, a local music professor in Providence, R.I., for private Italian lessons, though Giancarlo is leery of taking on Quinn as a student. He does, of course, and Giancarlo's broken heart—the result of a long-ago betrayal—begins slowly to mend itself. After a summer of intense study, Quinn leaves for Italy, and Giancarlo wonders whether he should again allow himself to love. Pezzelli makes readers want to believe in love at first sight, and his earnest storytelling should win over its share of readers. (Oct.)
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About the Author

Peter Pezzelli lives with his wife, two children, and their dog in Rhode Island where, most days, he is busy at work on his next novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758220502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758220509
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Peter Pezzelli grew up in the town of North Providence. A graduate of La Salle Academy, he completed a year of prep school at Phillips Academy Andover before attending Wesleyan University where he earned a bachelors degree in English.

After college, Peter traveled for several weeks in Italy before coming home to begin training to be an administrator in his family's nursing home business. He did not begin dabbling on the side with a writing career until later in his twenties when his girlfriend (and future wife) bought him an electric typewriter for his birthday. Not long after, while laid up recovering from knee surgery necessitated by a series of unfortunate rugby injuries, he decided to pass the time using it to write short stories. He later enrolled in some creative writing workshops at Brown University, attended the Wesleyan Writers Conference, and eventually began in his spare time to submit freelance articles to Rhode Island Monthly and other local magazines and newspapers.

In time Peter decided to put aside short stories and freelance writing, and try his hand at writing a novel. He wrote several before finally penning "Home To Italy". Published by Kensington Books in 2004, the story earned acclaim as a Book Sense "Pick" in September of that year and later as a "First Novel of Distinction".

Peter is now the author of six published novels, all set primarily in Rhode Island or Italy. Translated worldwide into over a dozen languages, his stories of life, love, friendship, and family have been featured in Reader's Digest Select Editions, Doubleday Book Club, and are favorites of library book clubs around the U.S.. His newest book, "The Glassblower's Apprentice", published by West Passage Publishing Company, was published in October, 2013.

Peter lives in Rhode Island with his wife, two children.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Surely this is Peter Pezzelli's crowning glory so far - with the possible exception of Every Sunday (although the writing was good and the approach interesting, I found the subject matter, ie the adultery humor, troublesome), I have thoroughly enjoyed every book (which I read in quick succession one after the other) Pezzelli has written so far, but this is surely his best yet. His characters are delightfully real and the reader cannot help but think that he or she knows someone just like that. The youthful and naive romace is captivating and the reader is tranported into the world of the determined lover. The unfolding drama of the brothers reunited by tragedy, at first a puzzle and then slowly unravelling as one is taken back to the country and the people the proffessor once left behind. There too the characters are fullly rounded and almost tangible in Pezzelli's descriptions. The cameo appearance of Pezzelli's first character, Pepi, did not go unnoticed either...and the end is simply charming...if at once you try and fail, try, try and try again...what a gem - I can hardly wait for the next one! Bravo! Benissimo!
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Format: Paperback
I second the comments of the reviewer who suggested that people who love all things Italian will find this book a pleasant read. I don't think the writing has much depth, but there is a certain authenticity to the characters and the locations that is appealing.

One of the reasons I decided to read this book is because I am attempting to learn Italian and thought it was nice to see Italian phrases sprinkled throughout the book. However, several times I questioned whether the phrase was correctly written, and was interested to see the post from the bilingual reviewer.
Ex. as written:
"Anywhere else you may call me Professore, but here I am simply Giancarlo, capito?"
"Capito," said Carter.
I think this should be "capisci?" or "capisce?" (if formal)..and Carter should reply "Capisco." "I understand." If I'm wrong and "capito" is an appropiate form that I haven't learned yet, my apologies to the author, but based on Bilingual's review I think there are some occasional problems with the use of the Italian language...maybe Pezzelli needs to find his own Giancarlo.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this novel to read on a plane trip and for this purpose it was acceptable. The setting is Providence, Rhode Island. It's the end of the school year at Rhode Island College. Loner and music professor Giancarlo Rosa is packing up to spend a quiet summer at home wallowing in his aloneness. Suddenly he finds himself confronted with jock Carter Quinn an all-American young man who has just graduated from college. Quinn has been told that Professor Rosa sometimes teaches students Italian in his spare time. Quinn is desperate to learn Italian so he can go off to Italy at the end of the summer speaking the language and looking for a needle in a haystack - a young woman named Elena whom he met briefly in Rhode Island. He doesn't even know her last name but seems to know the town in which she lives. The gruff professor takes Quinn on as a student. He excels at learning Italian. What happens when he finds Elena is quite predictable. Intertwined with this story is the story of the professor. Slowly we learn why he hesitates to fully engage with life.All things are resolved when a potential tragedy back in Italy brings the professor, his family and Carter Quinn together. Everything about the story is predictable. But if you love Italy - the country, the language, the culture you will find this novel mildly entertaining.
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Format: Paperback
Can love at first sight be the basis for a lasting relationship that spans the Atlantic Ocean? Carter Quinn is determined to find out. Smitten by Elena, an Italian exchange student with whom he shared a brief few moments before college graduation, Carter puts his future (and reasoning!) on hold and sets out to learn the Italian language and delve into its culture during the summer before heading to Italy to find Elena again and convince her of his undying love. To do so, he must convince Giancarlo Rosa, a music professor in Rhode Island, to give up some of his own free time during the summer in order to give Carter the necessary education he'll need. Rosa, still haunted by the long ago hurts and broken relationships that caused him to leave his small Italian homeland and never look back, is hesitant to give Carter his time. Fortunately, he sees a spark of something in Carter's passionate commitment to his unrealistic dream, and somewhat reluctantly agrees. He is a stern taskmaster, requiring every ounce of dedication and hard work that Carter has, but is also a rewarding one, providing Carter with an insight into the Italian heritage that becomes interesting and absorbing on its own, without the necessary drive supplied by Carter's unwavering pursuit of Elena. In the months that follow, during their grueling lessons and Carter's subsequent trip to Italy, the two men learn much from each other and form the beginnings of a bond that will open the way to Giancarlo's healing and Carter's own destiny.

Light and predictable, the plot of this book serves its main purpose - that of a vehicle to carry Pizzelli's beautiful love letter to Italy - quite well. The story is merely icing on the cake. Peter Pezzelli's novels are what the ideal travel guide should be.
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