The Ice Cream Makers

Ernest van der Kwast, trans. from the Dutch by Laura Vroomen. Atria, $24 (308p) ISBN 978-1-5011-5939-8
Van der Kwast (Mama Tandoori) returns to themes of family, legacy, and tradition in this novel about a poet returning home to Northern Italy to help run his family’s ice cream company. The Calamine family has been in the ice cream business for three generations, making yearly trips to the Netherlands to sell hand-churned ice cream ever since Giovanni Calamine’s great-grandfather started the business, establishing their strong reputation on these seasonal trips. Ice cream has been the family’s passion for decades, and when Giovanni decides that he wants something else for his life, his father and brother see the choice as a betrayal of a family legacy. Van der Kwast jumps around the Calamine family tree to reveal a complex web of duty and love that ties the family to the dream of the original patriarch and uncovers how that dream has transformed through the years. Although plot takes a back seat to a thoughtful portrait of the family, van der Kwast ultimately tells a moving story of how sacrifices accumulate in the wake of passions left unfulfilled. Agent: Daniel Lazar, Writer’s House. (Aug.)

Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the text's original language, and also misspelled the name of the translator.

Reviewed on: 06/19/2017
Release date: 08/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-5011-5940-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-3642-9
Library Binding - 512 pages - 978-1-4328-4423-3
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