Wealthy Italian families, lost love, definite class separation, and family secrets is what you will find in the THE HOUSE OF SERENADES. Many of the characters had secrets, but Giuseppe Berelli had the biggest secret of them all. Giuseppe kept a secret his entire life, and he was now becoming afraid the truth would come out and ruin his life. Giuseppe told stories to cover up his secret and to try to keep his family from losing their class distinction and power.
The storyline focuses on class distinction and prestige and the worry about losing it all by going to any length no matter what the cost. The eloquent, descriptive writing style and the saga of the Berelli family of Genoa, Italy, will keep your curiosity peaked. And what a saga it was. There was hatred within families, jealousy among neighbors, shady dealings, corrupt doctors, nosy house help, pompous families, death threats to the Berilli family, and things that must be kept secret not only by Giuseppe but others in the town. These were secrets that ate at the characters every day of their lives. Secrets that they never should have told anyone because you never know how things will work out.
The book has different underlying themes, outstanding characters beautifully developed by the author, well-kept secrets, and explanations of the customs and mindset of this era in history. The mindset of different classes not mingling and the sneering of the upper class toward the lower class seemed to cause more trouble and pain than was necessary. This era also made evident how women were treated so poorly. Caterina and Matilda's heartbreaking stories describe very vividly the treatment of women and how they had no rights.
If the title and cover are puzzling you, you will need to read this intriguing, very appealing book to find out the significance. The storyline is unique and very captivating. My being Italian enhanced the enjoyment with the inclusion of the authentic Italian names and phrases. Each character had a story of his/her own and each of their lives, their evilness, their innocence, and their secrets were entangled to create an unforgettable tale of love, treachery, tragedy, and unforgivable acts. I hope my review does justice to this amazing book......the content, the setting, and beautiful flow of the story are worth the read. 5/5