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Table Of Contents

1 La Famiglia Grasso
2 Two Lives
3 Resistance/Pleasure
4 Scarabocchi
5 Turn Up the Music
6 Beautiful Everything
7 All of Us Are Leaving
8 The Grasso Brain
9 Close the Light
10 Volare
11 Miracles
12 More
P. 1
All This Talk of Love; A Novel

All This Talk of Love; A Novel

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3.54

(1)
|Views: 65|Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
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.
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.

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Publish date: Feb 5, 2013
Added to Scribd: Jan 29, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781616201906
List Price: $13.95

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01/28/2015

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9781616201906

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thedomestichick reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Very good book. My life was hectic so it was a bit getting into it, but thoroughly enjoyable.The writing was well-done, the descriptions vivid, and the plot interesting.
samantha100_1 reviewed this
Rated 5/5
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.
osbaldistone reviewed this
Rated 4/5
All This Talk of Love is the story of an Italian-American family, the Grassos and their ties to each other and to their ancestral home in Italy. The main characters are Maddalena and Antonio, the immigrants, and their two children, Prima and Frankie. The narrative moves from character to character as the family deals with aging parents, passing on the family business, and the baggage each has stemming from the parents’ sense of loss associated with immigration, the early loss of son/brother Tony, and the usual sibling issues. The story loosely revolves around Prima’s desire to get her parents to go back to their home town before they are too old, and Maddalena’s initially inexplicable refusal to consider a return. As life and Maddalena interfere with Prima’s plans, we learn more about what brought the Grassos to the US, what happened to Tony, and how these events are tied to the issues that the family is dealing with, mostly without realizing it.Castellani is a very able writer, and the prose is quite a pleasure. All This Talk is an enjoyable trip into the dynamics of a first generation immigrant family, and the unfolding of the back-stories adds some mystery to keep the plot rolling. The characters are a bit annoying at times, much like my own family, but believable for this reason. The story begins and ends in the middle of life, and, as in life, doesn’t wrap all the issues up into nice packages. When all is said and done, the reader has learned a bit about this family, and some of what is learned will be quite familiar. This is an enjoyable read, but I was left without a character that I felt I would miss. Upon completion, I quite liked the book and figured it for a 4-star rating. But a few weeks later, as I considered writing this review, I realized I retained only a vague memory of an enjoyable read, but recalled little of the 'meat' of the story.Os.
tangledthread reviewed this
Rated 3/5
All This Talk of Love is the story of a first and second generation Italian immigrant family, who emigrated to the U.S. in the years following WWII. I was not aware that it was the third in a trilogy until after I had received it. As others have written, the theme of the book covers various permutations of love: romantic, parental, filial, and self-serving. The main characters include Maddelena, the matriarch of the family who has a close (symbiotic?) relationship with her adult children: daughter Prima, and son Frankie. Over the course of the story hints are dropped about another son, Tony, who died in his teens. These clues are scattered like bread crumbs through the narrative until his story is revealed. The patriarch in the family is Antonio who, with his brother, established a successful Italian restaurant.in Delaware. IMO he is the only character that exhibits an authentic, selfless love for his family. The women in this book drove me crazy with their manipulation and guilt trips to try and keep their kids under their thumb. Prima does it with her four boys. Presumably she learned this at her mother's knee because these two really do a number on each other.The plot line revolves around a reunion trip to the family's village of origin, Santa Cecilia. This is engineered by Prima, and is thwarted for several years by Madelenna who has no desire to return. By the time they get there, it is anti-climactic. Some readers may identify with this family and love the characters and the story line. However, it was not to my taste and felt like the internal family struggles and manipulations were annoying, dishonest, and self-serving. There were times when I thought the author could have shortened the title to "All This Talk...." because most of the love certainly seemed to be conditional.I received this book as an Early Reviewers selection.
lgura_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
The story of an Italian-American family, the Grassos, in Delaware revolves around the family matriarch Maddalena. Brought to America as a young woman, she left the small town in Italy, Santa Cecilia, her extended family and the first boy she loved for an arranged marriage to Antonio. Over time Antonio built a successful restaurant, Maddalena used her many skills and talents (seamstress, dancer), and built a full life in America. Their fill lives are shadowed by loss and foreboding. Prima, the Grasso's daughter surprises the family with a plan for a trip back to Santa Cecilia, hoping to bring the family closer, and unlock the pain and year ones of her mother. Maddalena is strongly opposed to the planned trip, as is her unsettled, PhD candidate brother Frankie. Coloring all the interactions is the long-ago suicide of the Grasso's second son Tony. Closest to Anthony and a natural to work at the restaurant, Tony realized he was gay. He learned that Anthony discovered his secret, and that his sister and he loved the same boy.All the family members have secrets. The secrets bind them and keep them from completely connecting. Much of the book is an intriguing push-pull among the family members as they seek and resist closeness.This book is enjoyable, but not all the characters are fully realized. There are too many peripheral players, and it can be confusing at times. A few of the story lines could have been dropped, some minor characters eliminated, and the story line could have been crisper and tighter. I recommend this for a pleasurable, light read.
kellyatfsu reviewed this
Rated 2/5
This book started out a little slow for me. It did eventually pick up, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters and caring what was going to happen to them. Not a terrible book, but not terribly interesting either.
signoraedie_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I requested this book from the Early Reviewers book selections because I had read the first book of this trilogy, "A Kiss From Maddalena" and enjoyed the sense of place and family in the authors writing. This story takes place many years later, after Maddalena came to America with Antonio and left behind in the village of Santa Cecelia all that she held dear...the man she had given her heart, her sister, her parents. So deep was the pain of loss that she vowed never to return, never to talk to family on the phone and never to write or respond to letters. Instead, she built a life in America, raised three children, and excelled as a seamstress and a dancer. But deep in her heart she carried a foreboding anxiety...that all that she held dear could be taken away from her.The story tells the story of the Italian-American family...of their relationships, their loyalty, their personal demons...their ties. Eventually, Maddalena does lose it all, when a genetic dementia strips her of her mind causing her forget. I found the story authentic. I was especially moved by the last chapters. Anyone who clings to their sense of family will appreciate this novel.
dorolerium reviewed this
Rated 4/5
All This Talk of Love follows an average seeming Italian-American family, the Grasso’s. It goes through several years from the perspectives of the parents, Antonio and Maddalena, and their two grown children, Prima and Frankie.Like any family, the Grasso’s have secrets, but they try to remain as close as possible, despite their differences. It was interesting to see the different ways the two generations viewed their responsibilities in life, with Antonio and Maddalena trying to keep all the traditions of their home country while their children grew up entirely in the United States. In the meantime, Prima and Frankie both take their own paths – Prima tries to instill the respect and values of the old country in her children; Frankie tries to get away from the constraints of the family while being pulled back into their lives by his sheer love and loyalty.Reading about this family made me a bit envious of their closeness, but also really brought out my rebellious streak. I felt confined just reading about it! It made Frankie a very sympathetic character to me, because I can understand how it feels to want to break free from something you know may not be the best thing for you.Prima, however, was almost a constant annoyance to me who grated on my nerves throughout much of the novel. It’s not that she is a bad or poorly written character, but I’ve definitely known people like her in my life, and several of her characteristics drove me up the wall. Prima always seems to mean well, but in a very self-serving kind of way. She’s a bit nasty with those who don’t go along with what she wants, and manages to consistently blame those other people for her misfortunes. In the end, she seems pretty miserable, and never seems to realize that her actions sometimes have far reaching consequences.The main discussion taking place is Prima wanting to take the family back to Italy, but Maddalena is adamantly against it. She deals with things in what she calls the Italian way, by just leaving them unsaid and ignored indefinitely, hoping they’ll just go away. The whole plan is complicated by the mere fact that life, like its problems, keep going on as much as you might not want them to. Kids are going to do things you don’t like, your siblings are going to continue aging even if they are in a different country, and you can’t outrun some things no matter how hard you try.This was a wonderfully written novel, though difficult to get through at times because of the family issues it tackles. It’s a lovely look into the Grasso family and how an immigrant family deals with the complications of spanning the first couple of generations in a new country.
ljbooks_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
"All This Talk of Love" left me thinking it was mostly "talk." Though the story conveyed an underlying love that each family member had for each other, the author never seemed to invite the reader in. I felt like a lonely next door neighbor who observes a seemingly nice family celebrating holidays while breathing in the heady aromas of garlic and seafood from the adjacent window. Still, had I been there, Frankie would have really gotten on my nerves with all of his eye rolling and the superfluous references painfully detailing his dissertation. He even "rolls his eyes at his own pretentious simile." There were also things that I very much liked and could relate to as the characters were developed. I guess I just wanted to love it, and just kept waiting to feel more of a connection.
britt1075 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
While I ended up loving the end of this book it started a bit slow for me. The characters were well developed by the ebd of the book but because it jumped back and forth between them in the beginning I had a bit of trouble. Once I was into the book I fell in love with the father who truely loved his wife and who would do just about anything to make her happy. The family is a first generation family that came to America from Italy. The son and daughter have never been to Italy and the daughter desperately wants to take the family back so her Dad can see his homeland just one more time. A place he left more than fifty years ago. The mother is fighting them all on this trip but soon it is out of her hands and when the family finally does go it is the trip they all had been waiting for. A good read.

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