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Customer Review

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It charmed me, 15 April 2009
This review is from: The Italian Wedding (Hardcover)
Pieta and her sister Addolorata have grown up in London, daughters to an English mother and an Italian father. For their entire life, they have been forbidden to associate with the DeMatteo family without knowing why. Pieta is a bridal designer and as they work together on her sister's wedding dress, her mother finally tells her the story of her family, a story that travels from a remote Italian village to Rome and then to London. Armed with this knowledge, Pieta will bring about some dramatic changes in all of their lives.

There are so many problems with this book that I hardly know where to begin, but what I must stress is that despite all of these problems it is still immensely charming and likeable. I relished the way it transported me to Italy and the way that food is discussed so often and so lovingly. Pieta's father Beppi is a chef and the book is punctuated with his recipes for various Italian dishes. Normally I would say that the literary world has done recipes in novels to death, but here it does feel appropriate and it was also endearing to read in the acknowledgements at the book's end that large parts of the story were based on Nicky's own parents and that the recipes do indeed come from her father. They look genuinely delicious and I intend to give some of them a try.

So what doesn't work? For starters, it's incredibly predictable. You can tell from a long way off how it's going to come together and it doesn't offer any twists or surprises to sustain interest. None of the characters feel like real, fleshed out people. The most interesting and developed are Pieta's parents, but the other characters are just one-dimensional walk-ons (particularly Pieta's love interest). We are always being told what Pieta or her mother are thinking rather than Pellegrino allowing us to work that out for ourselves. I was also irritated by the way that Pieta's mother Catherine is supposedly telling her daughter a large part of the story, yet it never reads as if it were being spoken aloud.

Nevertheless I did really enjoy this book. The central story is endearing and if you approach it wanting nothing more than an undemanding read, you'll probably enjoy too.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Jun 2010 21:52:53 BDT
Wilf says:
i agree.
a gentle, undemanding read was just what i wanted so i really enjoyed this book.
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