The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store – Jo Riccioni

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In 1949, the arrival of an Italian family sets tongues wagging in the village of Leyton, an English farming community still recovering from the war. For seventeen-year-old Connie, however, the newcomers provide a tantalising glimpse of the wider world — a world beyond the gossip and petty concerns traded over the counter of Cleat’s Corner Store.

Under their father’s stern eye, the Onorati brothers adapt to their new life in remarkably different ways. While the charismatic Vittorio is determined to reinvent himself and embrace all things English, the solitary Lucio is haunted by the secrets of his past — events that tether him to the war in the mountains of Lazio.

As both brothers begin to cast an unexpected influence over Leyton, Connie realises that, like them, she must grapple with her ambitions and dreams for the future. But what can any of them hope to find in the ruins of all they’ve lost?

I struggled with this book a lot. It just wasn’t that interesting to me. However, it was really well written. Although it moved between countries (Italy and England) and characters, it was easy to follow and I didn’t get confused. Although the story line seemed interesting at first, it got boring for me pretty quickly. It took me over 2 months to read this book, and I wouldn’t read it again.

2/5

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Black Rock White City – A.S. Patric

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During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children.

I absolutely loved reading this book! It was just so amazing. It was really intriguing and kept me on my toes. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in a deep and meaningful way, and the whole thing, storyline, characters, events, everything, was fantastic.

5/5