A Kiss from M"/>
 

The Saint of Lost Things

Christopher Castellani, Author
Christopher Castellani, Author . Algonquin $23.95 (316p) ISBN 978-1-56512-433-2
Paperback - 353 pages - 978-0-425-21173-1
Open Ebook - 330 pages - 978-1-56512-885-9
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Castellani explores the lives of Italian-American immigrants in this eloquent, leisurely tale about dreams and disappointments, a follow-up to his debut novel, A Kiss from Maddalena . Here, Castellani picks up Maddalena Grasso's story in 1953, when she is seven years settled in Wilmington, Del., but "always crying, always looking backward." She left her beloved Italian village for America, imagining that she and her new husband, Antonio, would live the American dream, but Antonio's ambition of owning a restaurant remains just out of reach, and beautiful Maddalena, once an aspiring actress and model, now sews piecework, pining for the family she left behind. Maddalena befriends Guilio, a lonely, middle-aged accordion player mired in grief since the death of his elderly parents, and they eventually help each other find the courage to move past their own regrets. (She finds hope in a long-awaited pregnancy, though she will face a difficult labor.) By structuring much of the novel in flashback—albeit to reflect Maddalena's mentality—Castellani slows the story's momentum, but the natural, easy beauty of his prose captures the Italian-American immigrant community of a bygone era. Agent, Mary Evans. (Sept.)

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