All This Talk of Love by Christopher Castellani Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill ISBN 978-1-61620-170-8

Maddalena and Antonio Grasso, married for fifty years, are Italian immigrants living in America .  Not once have they returned to their village of Santa Cecilia to visit.  Maddalena  never opened the mail she received from her family. She closed the door on that part of her life.  All This Talk of Love by Christopher Castellani is an in-depth depiction of the Grasso family.

The Grasso’s had three children, two sons and a daughter.  Their first son, Tony, committed suicide.  The Grasso’s are a close family.  Son Frankie calls Maddalena nightly to discuss the soap opera they both watch.  Daughter Prima wants the entire family to go to Italy, in part to reunite Maddalena with her sister, and for Prima’s sons to connect with their heritage.  Even though Prima had already made all the trip arrangements  Maddalena vehemently opposes the trip and refuses to go.  The trip is canceled, but not because of Maddalena.  Eventually,  Antonio decides the trip must be made and he, Maddalena, Prima, Frankie and his girl friend travel to Santa Cecilia.  It is there that the family meets both their past and their future.

This is a phenomenal, moving and powerful story.  While the heart of story is family, the author eloquently gives voice to the protagonists as they try to maintain their individualities.   The prose allows the reader to journey into the minds of the characters.  Every member of the Grasso family views love differently.  No matter.  Their strength is in their mutual loyalty.  The Grasso family is struck with  many of same blows other families endure.  It is their bond that enables them to cope with loss and the uncertainty it brings.  The Grasso’s are truly a family.  I recommend reading this book- it is a novel that will stay with the reader for a long time.


I received this book free of charge through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and I give this review of my own free will.


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