All's Well House
Published Nov 2010
Trade Paperback, 412 pages
Reviewed by Sandra
This novel is about Egisto Bertozzi and his wife Armida (I couldn't figure her out at the beginning but was able to sympathise with her as the story developed) whose story begins as they emigrate from 1920's Italy to America, but it is so much more than that.
Right from the outset the author evokes the dynamics of an extended Italian family and an air of mystery. The author has a sensual, earthy way of writing as she describes both Egisto's sculptures, the food "….brightly painted trays of stuffed black olives, prosciutto, and garlic-rubbed crostini, wooden bowls filled with scarlet-tinged pears and fresh red-fleshed figs; and countless other stomach-coating accoutrements" and life in Italy, as well as the beautiful northern Italian lake's area. The use of Italian words lends authenticity.
I enjoyed the historical aspect of the novel as the author describes the era of Mussolini when Italy spiraled into civil war, its ensuing starvation and other hardships while describing the resilience of the Italian people.
I didn't see the relevance of the title even though Bianca is recounting much of the story. The reader first learns about the vineyard vis-à-vis Bianca near the end of the book. Apart from that, I only have praise for this most worthy historical novel that is based on real-life events. I loved it!
Note: This book is rated G.
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