An Italian Wife

Norton. Sept. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780393241662. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393245769. F
Best-selling author Hood (The Obituary Writer) has written a multigenerational saga of an Italian American family. Readers meet eight-year-old Josephine, living in a small village in early 1900s Italy with her family. At this young age, Josephine is betrothed and then one week before she turns 14 she weds Vincenzo Rinaldo, who a few days later emigrates to America. Nine years later, he is able to send for Josephine, who finds America an odd place, quite unlike her native village. The years pass; seven children are born to the Rimaldis, but Josephine, who continues to feel like a stranger in a strange land, also is unsure about marriage, uncertain of her husband, and still somewhat confused by American life.
VERDICT With each chapter a coming-of-age tale of an individual family member, Hood offers a poignant view of the turbulent 20th century. She successfully displays the connected, ordinary lives of her characters, whom readers will come to love, appreciate, and enjoy. This intricately woven, engrossing narrative will delight Hood's readers and attract fans of literary family sagas. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/14.]
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