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The House of Serenades Paperback – June 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Moonleaf Publishing LLC (June 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937700011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937700010
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,263,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

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
--silversolara.blogspot.com

About the Author

Lina Simoni is the author of a children's book, Sofia's Rainbow, and the award-winning novel, The Scent of Rosa's Oil. She is at work on her third novel, The Cabinet Spell. She lives in Southern California and is also a photographer and artist. Her artistic and literary work is on Facebook.

More About the Author

Lina Simoni was born in Genoa, Italy and moved to the US in 1988. Trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Evanston Art Center, she showed her paintings and photographs in galleries in the Midwest, Northeast, Florida, and the South of France. On the literary front, she is the author of two novels, newly-published "The House of Serenades"; and award-winning "The Scent of Rosa's Oil" (published also Germany and Greece.) She is also the author of "Sofia's Rainbow", a children's book that is also a charity for children's literacy programs. She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Palm Springs Women in Film and Television, and the Palm Springs Writers' Guild. At the moment she is working on her third novel, "The Cabinet Spell." She lives in Palm Springs, CA with her two cocker spaniels, Biscuit and Simon.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Eugenia had been very close to her brother, and ran the family home for him.
SusieH
This is an epic family saga, filled with plenty of tension and a story line that not only fascinates, but is highly satisfying.
Great Historicals
The story is at one a catalogue of attitudes to women and the treatment of women in early 20th Century Genoa.
eyes.2c

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Naomi A. Brownell on February 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my book club read. I thought it badly written, badly edited and such a soap opera I only read one third of the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
THE HOUSE OF SERENADES takes you down paths that twist and turn into ever darker and more shocking corners. Just when you think you know the worst about this rich, arrogant, misogynist family, a more despicable secret surfaces. No character is without flaw, not even the young lovers we're rooting for. Music alone transcends. And what better instrument in 1910 Genoa, Italy than the mandolin? You read faster, riveted by how such dissonance could possibly end in harmony.
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By dotti reiss on August 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
The beautiful city of Genoa holds many secrets in 1910; the most alarming belong to the upper class. The House of Serenades is centered on the Berilli family, which holds its doomed reputation and lineage above all else. As the story of two lovers unfolds, gender, as well as class struggles reveal the best and worst of human nature. The damages of incest, misogyny, and flagrant chauvinism are not easily overcome by love alone. Perhaps music is the great healer.
I enjoyed this book as its conflicting morals and emerging truths kept me intrigued to the last page.
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Format: Kindle Edition
4 and 1/2 stars

The House of Serenades by Lina Simoni is like a finely woven Italian tapestry. The threads weave in and out of the plot, sometimes woven in golden and crimson hues, at others, in the blackest of black. The interplay of tragic love story and wasted lives is high drama with dark secrets and hidden abuses. The story is at one a catalogue of attitudes to women and the treatment of women in early 20th Century Genoa.
Women of the upper class families are chattels to be bought and sold, to gain fortunes and alliances for their houses. Virginal daughters and sisters are fodder in the war of class, status and wealth.
It is not only fathers and brothers being unkind to wives, sisters and daughters but it is women being unkind to women--be they mothers, daughters or aunts.
This is a surprising story that invites reflection--what is, what could have been and what should have been. Throughout, the music of another century both seduces and repels with overtones of Wuthering Heights.

A netgalley ARC
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Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars out of 5: This is an excellent book for readers looking for a satisfying love-story with old-world charm and historical detail. Characters are the driving focus of the novel, but the story never loses its sense of plot. Ms. Simoni maintains a dramatic sense of tension through the whole novel with well constructed scenes and dialogue. It's an emotional and intelligent story told with a wonderful sense of timing and plot. Readers looking for murderous mayhem may be disappointed, but for audiences looking for a well-grounded love-story with historical and political implications "House of Serenades" is definitely worth the time and money.
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