Synopses & Reviews
It's been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America. That was the last time she saw her parents, her sisters and brothers — everything she knew and loved in the village of Santa Cecilia, Italy. Maddalena sees no need to open the door to the past and let the emotional baggage and unmended rifts of another life spill out.
But Prima was raised on the lore of the Old Country. And as she sees her parents aging, she hatches the idea to take the entire family back to Italy — hoping to reunite Maddalena with her estranged sister and let her parents see their homeland one last time. It is an idea that threatens to tear the Grasso family apart, until fate deals them some unwelcome surprises, and their trip home becomes a necessary journey.
All This Talk of Love is an incandescent novel about sacrifice and hope, loss and love, myth and memory.
"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." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Christopher Castellani is the author of A Kiss from Maddalena, which won the Massachusetts Book Award for Best Work of Fiction and was a Book Sense Top Ten pick in hardcover and in paperback, a national selection of the Readers Club of America, a Barnes & Noble Online Book Club pick, and a Borders Original Voices selection. A graduate of Swarthmore College with an M.F.A. from Boston University, he is the head instructor at Grub Street, a nonprofit creative writing center. He lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.