All This Talk Of Love

Christopher Castellani. Algonquin, $13.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-61620-170-8
In all the 50 years that Maddalena Grasso has been married to Antonio, never once have they returned to their homeland, Italy. That changes when their daughter, Prima, a devoted wife and mother, secretly buys tickets to Rome for the whole family. Through all the back-and-forth over the trip, the truth about the suicide years ago of Maddalena and Antonio’s son, Tony, comes out. As if by the hand of fate, Prima and her son, injured in a car accident, are forced to cancel their trip. Only then does the family realize that Maddalena is developing Alzheimer’s. The trip to Italy suddenly takes on greater significance: there, Maddalena can reconcile with her estranged relatives and find peace before passing away. Castellani’s sentimental new novel (after The Saint of Lost Things) is an intimate family portrait that never quite connects. Maddalena’s resistance to her home country feels as contrived as Tony’s suicide, and pivotal family secrets are never fully revealed. By the end, no one, except the unfortunate Maddalena, is much changed. Agent: Janet Silver, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 02/01/2013
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-61620-190-6
Hardcover - 487 pages - 978-1-4104-5888-9
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