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The Italians At Cleat's Corner Store (2014)

by Jo Riccioni(Favorite Author)
3.72 of 5 Votes: 5
Scribe UK
review 1: I enjoyed this book. It alternates between England after WWII and Italy during the war, tying the characters together. At first I really enjoyed the English part of the story the most but towards the end as the two parts melded closer together I enjoyed them equally. The way Riccioni drew parallels through the two lead characters fear to push past the boundaries placed around them as well as her exploration of the choices we make and how they are often impacted by the perception of those we surround ourselves with, no matter the country, was poignant. The harsh realities the characters need to confront are moving. This is a real coming of age story that leaves you with a bit of a hollow feeling; hoping you have the bravery to make the best, albeit hard, decisions when the ... moretime comes and leaves you wondering how you'll justify it in the times when you just can't muster it.
review 2: Firstly, I must thank the author, Jo Riccioni and Scribe Publications for granting me a copy of this novel through Goodreads give-always. I entered this novel in particular because of my family history. My ancestors were among the first Italian migrants to Australia. Although the subject of this novel relates to part of a family migrating to England in the late 40s, it tells a universal experience for these people.I had a little difficulty in the beginning of this novel trying to get the family relations in order i.e. the first couple of chapters set in Montelupini. The chapters alternate between England (10yrs later) and Italy (10yrs before) to weld together in the end. I don't think I have ever read a novel that so encompasses the culture as I have envisaged it, of the time in which it is set. The stories of hardship in a time of war and the resilience of the people is remarkable. This is a heartwarming story about the choices we make, when we are not overshadowed by authority or ungenerous interference. There is a comparison to be made in this novel between Lucio's experience of being trapped (mostly from responsibilities, love and a sense of duty to his family) in Italy, and Connie's experience of being trapped in a village in England with gossipy and opinionated close acquaintances who restrict Connie's desire to "fly" and experience life and the rest of the world.The descriptions of Italian country life and English country life were beautifully written and brought these landscapes and people alive for me; as if I was there.I must also comment about the relationships, which were tenderly and convincingly developed. less
Reviews (see all)
A beautifully written story crossing two cultures. Look forward to more from Jo Riccioni
Probably a good well written book but I didn't enjoy it and did quite a lot of skimming.
So beautifully written!!! Thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
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