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 Home » Kindle eBooks » A Kiss from Maddalena

A Kiss from Maddalena

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  • Sales Rank:244,683
  • Format:Kindle eBook
  • Language:English (Published)
  • Media:Kindle Edition
  • Edition:1
  • Pages:351
  • Publication Date:April 25, 2003
  • ASIN:B004UPVMLW


Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
It is 1943, and Santa Cecilia has become a village of women. All the young men are away at war, except for Vito Leone, his best friend, and the shopkeeper's son. When Vito falls in love with Maddalena Picinelli, the shy and beautiful daughter of the town's most powerful family, a few obstacles appear in his path. Maddalena's sassy, iron-willed sister Carolina thinks he's a penniless fool. Her parents think his crazy mother has turned him into a mammoni, a mama's boy. But Maddalena sees another side of Vito. He's romantic. He builds a bicycle for the girls to ride. He takes care of his feeble mama, who hasn't been the same since her husband and daughters ran off to America. And Vito is determined to win Maddalena's hand even though she has three older sisters who must be married off first.

When the Italians surrender to the Allies and German soldiers invade Santa Cecilia, everyone flees but Vito and his mother. With ingenuity and boundless devotion, Vito comes up with a plan to prove that he's a suitable suitor. The Picinelli family returns home after the war to find that some miraculous changes have taken place. Now, only one man stands in Vito's way, and Maddalena is forced to choose between her family's wishes and her own heart.

In the spirit of Corelli's Mandolin and Chocolat, A KISS FROM MADDALENA is a captivating novel that celebrates the beauty of life and the passions of youth.

Amazon.com Review
In Santa Cecilia, Italy, in the spring of 1943, the war is closing in. Vito Leone, a scrawny, clownish boy, not quite 18, is still at home, while his slightly older contemporaries have already gone off to fight. He is filling the days until he leaves by courting the town beauty, 15-year-old Maddalena Piccinelli, daughter of the region's most successful merchant. The title of Christopher Castellani's debut novel, A Kiss from Maddalena, is only part of Vito's plan.

The road through Santa Cecilia is "one of the widest in Italy." When Italy joins the Allies, it becomes a conduit for German invasion, causing the Santa Ceciliese to leave for more remote places. Vito stays to care for his chronically ill mother. He and Maddalena share a poignant parting, amid tears and promises. During their two-year separation, they continue to believe that they will be reunited, with her family's approval. Vito sets out to ingratiate himself to the Piccinellis in their absence by refurbishing their house, which has been ravaged by soldiers. When they return, Maddalena's mother, Chiara, says, "I am grateful ... but it's too much ... I don't like when people do things for me; I don't like the obligation. I don't trust anyone anymore." She does find it in her heart to trust one man with her daughter, however, and it isn't Vito.

Castellani's debut carries echoes of other love and war stories, such as Chocolat, Birdsong, and Corelli's Mandolin. It is a tribute to his Italian-American roots, capturing time, place and circumstance in broad strokes, but also rendering the subtleties of hope and expectation, longing and despair. --Valerie Ryan

Synopsis
It is 1943, and Santa Cecilia has become a village of women. All the young men are away at war, except for Vito Leone, his best friend, and the shopkeeper's son. When Vito falls in love with Maddalena Picinelli, the shy and beautiful daughter of the town's most powerful family, a few obstacles appear in his path. Maddalena's sassy, iron-willed sister Carolina thinks he's a penniless fool. Her parents think his crazy mother has turned him into a mammoni, a mama's boy. But Maddalena sees another side of Vito. He's romantic. He builds a bicycle for the girls to ride. He takes care of his feeble mama, who hasn't been the same since her husband and daughters ran off to America. And Vito is determined to win Maddalena's hand even though she has three older sisters who must be married off first.

When the Italians surrender to the Allies and German soldiers invade Santa Cecilia, everyone flees but Vito and his mother. With ingenuity and boundless devotion, Vito comes up with a plan to prove that he's a suitable suitor. The Picinelli family returns home after the war to find that some miraculous changes have taken place. Now, only one man stands in Vito's way, and Maddalena is forced to choose between her family's wishes and her own heart.

In the spirit of Corelli's Mandolin and Chocolat, A KISS FROM MADDALENA is a captivating novel that celebrates the beauty of life and the passions of youth.


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