GENRE: Fiction - historical
NUMBER OF PAGES: 284
SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Review Copy as a part of iRead Book Tours. Thanks guys!
Wine, Olive, Sicily – An intoxicating combination for someone who has been dying to explore Italy ever since I met and interacted with beautiful people from that country. When this book came up for review, the summary conjured up an image of a picture postcard village with passionate people. The story didn’t deviate one bit from that image.
Antonio Sanguinetti and his son, Giuseppe, along with fellow villagers are determined to overthrow the Vasaio family who has reigned over the village of Bellafortuna. The Vasaios had initially offered loans for farmers who struggled with their harvests. As time progressed, the entire village was under huge debt to the Vasaios who charged exorbitant interest rates. The Sanguinetti, being Wine merchants, weren’t exactly under Vasaios grip as they haven’t taken loans from them. Impacted by sufferings of the villagers under Vasaios and an haunting past, Giuseppe grows up loving music and eventually ends up uniting people by using music. He is quite ambitious and devises a plan along with the rebellion society that was formed to overthrow the Vasaios. Does his plan succeed? Will the glorious past of the picturesque village be restored to its former glory where the farmers prospered?
The first few chapters of the story were dedicated to character building. The writer took his sweet time to build characters and the story block by block. Needless to mention, all characters had that rich depth that was very vital for such a story. Then suddenly the plot picked up pace - especially after the death of an initially main character mid-way. The writer brought in subtle elements of sorts to emphasize that the book was set in a different era which would have been lost otherwise – for example, the tolling of Church bell when a fellow villager passes away, the Opera culture and the horses as a means of transport. The story ended on a rather optimistic note. Such endings always given that good feel after having experience an emotional roller coaster in the form of the story.
One element that truly requires a mention is the vivid description of Sicily. It simply increased my want to visit Italy! The beautiful ruins, the breathtaking view of valley, I could imagine everything!
My only qualm with this book would be the liberal usage of Italian. Though various phrases have been translated to help people like me, there were few times when I had to Google to check meanings.
MY SAY: That perfect summer read.
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 2/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 8/10
AUTHOR LINKS: Website Twitter Facebook
BOOK LINKS: Amazon