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Molto Mayhem Kindle Edition
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|Length: 371 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Lucia is a 10-year-old visiting family in Italy with her mother and father when they tragically are killed in an automobile accident. She is desolate and will speak to no one but only wants to return to her home in San Francisco. The best efforts of her uncle, Gianni who also is trying to console his wife Cristina who is equally devastated because of her love of her sister and even their young son Mario’s attempts to aid are futile. A decision ultimately is made by the Head of the Family. Nonno, the grandfather, when he decides to take the young Lucia home to America and leave the eminently successful construction business in the hands of his son Gianni. In America, he successfully opens a grocery supply where Lucia helps by stocking the shelves and other menial tasks. She has many ideas for business expansion but Nonno, she is convince, would not consider any such ideas,. Fifteen years pass and Lucia now has returned to Italy to visit the family where she supposedly is to learn to ‘cook Italian’. Many changes have taken place in the family during the ensuing period. Gianni was spectacularly inept at running the business; Cristina, exhibited an adeptness and now runs the construction company successfully; Gianni has become a Chef Par Excellence, and Mario has gained a significant other named Jaime. All of these changes the family believes must be kept from Nonno because of his strong belief that women do not properly belong in positions of authority and other traditional views. Additionally entering the plot is Aiden, a young Englishman whose Godmother Francisca had left him her Villa della Fontana. He and Lucia meet. The young man’s villa unfortunately is in a state of almost complete disrepair. Cristina takes on the restoration project which is hampered by the loss of an icon from the property and must be replaced in order for the work to be completed and the chaotic situation gradually progresses through a number of related and unrelated issues. Suddenly, Nonno returns and eventually a satisfactory conclusion is reached.
Discussion: The author has exhibited an apparent love for a very provincial Italy that most regrettably like Spain, France, Mexico and similar largely has disappeared. Hopefully, it still may exist in some rural and/or ‘out-of-the-way’ sections of the country and can provide the wistfully charming thoughts/reminiscences of a type of people and way of life once prevalent in provincial areas of these beautiful countries. She has been able to capture this unsophisticated social behavior quite appealingly and amusingly.
The author has a natural ability to write and knows what the reader wants. This 62 chapter novel reads smoothly, is entertaining and has steadfast qualities: clarity, purity and is solid in expressing the cultural appeal Italy has to lovers of food, style, customs, romance, colours, smells, beauty and historically rich environment, where family, feasting, and artistic wealth permeates locals and tourists. The mannerisms are expressed in a body-language which this book does honour authenticlly. Gently and gracefully, Italian words are used. As an Italian by origin, I felt the author's presence in Italy, describing the realities, traditions, the creativity in food and lifestyle, specifically the role saints and holy icons play in Italian religious beliefs that influence daily lives.
The story accommodates enough characters and events producing drama where secrets and memories of past pain drive the characters together and apart. We have:
• crumbling walls of an old villa.
• a dominating aunt reminding us of the film, The Godfather.
• touring adventures around Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast as in the film letters to
• culnary experiences, metaphors, appropriate associations and citations from well
known novels and intellectual debate.
• an awakening young love.
• infusion of cultures : London where Aiden comes from and San Francisco, where
Lucia grew up. He inherited the crumbling villa and Lucia returning to Italy after
15 years, absorbing the happenings of her past. Her mission is to expand her
expertise in Italian food products, the manufacture and export to America. But
her past, new love and further inheritance could change the course of her
The theme of the story is clear: Life is to pursue living new adventures, in spite of death, chaos (mayem) and many disrupting experiences
"Their spirit, Lucia thought, bitterness edging even the quiet voice in her own head. The Italian spirit, passionate and reckless. The spirit that had caused their death. This was not a spirit she would want memorialized. "
I love the author's writing style. It lends a solid connection to the reader which places you right on the spot. She is able to transmit feeling without many words. The quality of the work is 5 stars, but I do recommend slight polishing to the Italian words/ phrases. As Italian, I noted what in general will not be visible to an overall English reader.
I loved this book.
22 November 2016
Most recent customer reviews
Adrian just found out his Godmother left him an inheritance. A Villa in Tuscany! What a windfall for Adrian!!Read more