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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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3.53

(53)
|Views: 63 |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: Aug 01, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781616201708
List Price: $13.95

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07/14/2014

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9781616201708

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
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. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2012-12-24, Publishers Weekly
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.
arelenriel reviewed this
Rated 4/5
This book was a very interesting book about an Italian family in the post World War II United States, it touched on many of the issues faced by immigrants including the idea that you can never really go home again. A truly interesting read
bawining reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I loved "All This Talk of Love"--it is a great story. The book is about members of an Italian family, each of whom is struggling to navigate through through life. Castellani portrays them so vividly that I felt like I knew them right away. The story had great pacing throughout, and I did not want the book to end. A very entertaining book that inspired me to look up more stories by Christopher Castellani. I highly recommend it.
gerconk reviewed this
Rated 4/5
All This Talk of Love is the story about a family, their relationships, the secrets they have, and the love they share. The Grasso parents came from Italy and established a popular restaurant in Del. They had three children, one of whom died as a young man, a daughter, and a younger son. The story is well-told and engrossing. I particularly liked that the author took us into the thoughts of the characters so that we didn't see just the interplay between them but the inner workings of their thoughts and emotions. This is a story of life with its good times but also its tragedies, and reflects the struggles and triumphs that we all contend with in our own lives.

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