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This is very different from the books I usually read, and that's what I wanted. A gentle, summertime book to let my mind rest while on vacation. The author takes us back to the 1950s and invites you into the life of Penny, a young teenager with two very different families: her mother and her white-bread grandparents with whom she lives, and her late father's big extended, Italian family. The events of the book take place over the summer when Penny's eyes are opened to many things. There is nothing that would offend anyone in this book (it's probably a youth novel), but it's also not a page-turner. Very much like the books I read as a girl in the 1960s. The narrator does a good job with most of the characters, with the exception of the young boy cousin and Penny's grandfather, which I found slightly irritating.
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Are you thinking of reading Penny's From Heaven? It's a very nice book. I like the whole story. I recommend this book to lots of people.