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Castellamare is a fictional, relatively isolated island - far enough from the mainland to be insular (for good or for ill) but close enough to be accessed by boat. The more things change around them, the more the islanders stay the same, with gossip lasting for decades. The island both grips and spits out its residents, particularly those of the family featured in this lushly written book.
I wanted to visit the House at the Edge of Night, to meet the Espositos, to have a good strong Italian coffee, to spend some time by the sea.
Another reviewer pointed out that you really got to know the first two generations of Espositos really well, less so with the latter two generations. It's probably the only drawback to this book, because Lena in particular was not at all drawn out nearly as well as her grandmother and her great-grandfather were.
It's well-written, well-read, and a perfect summer getaway read.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I think that people who are extremely interested in Italian history would appreciate it. The book is barely a novel. It is, as the blurb says, the story of the people who live on a tiny island off the coast of Italy. The characters in the book have rather ordinary lives, with the exception of the primary family, who lose two of their sons in WWII. Their daughter, who gets way too much attention from the author (unless this is an autobiography) falls in love with Robert, an American who loves her and then goes back to the US for five years. She pines away. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is an Italian soap opera.
What do you think your next listen will be?
Nothing like this. I love Edoardo Ballerini, but he is beginning to amass a collection of audiobooks which focus in very large detail on the history of Italy, which may be of interest to a small audience of readers, but, frankly, I am not among them.
Would you be willing to try another one of Edoardo Ballerini’s performances?
Certainly. I love listening to him. His voice is beautiful, the mellifluous tones of Italian and several other languages just melting in his mouth, so to speak. He is extremely versatile, and has read a number of American novels that are well plotted, with characters who interest you. The Owen Laukkenan books are delightful to read, both the plots and the characters are the work of a truly gifted author, and Mr. Ballerini does them justice. Carla, an FBI agent, and Stevens, a Minnesota police officer, make a great team. Come to think of it,I am really eagerly anticipating the next book by these two men.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Not much, which is, I believe, the point.
Any additional comments?
8 of 10 people found this review helpful