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The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store  - Jo Riccioni

The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store

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Published: 26th March 2014
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In 1949, the insular English village of Leyton seems to have emerged from the war in relative calm - that is, until a family of Italian peasants arrives to work the estate at Leyton House. There's nothing like a former prisoner of war and his two sons to set tongues wagging at Cleat's Corner Store. For Connie Farrington, a 17-year-old shop assistant at Cleat's, the Onorati brothers are a window to the wider world she has often longed for.

The two brothers are adapting to their new life in 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, by events that tether him to the war in the mountains of Lazio. As Vittorio's drive and Lucio's quiet toil begin to cast an influence over Leyton, Connie's world is turned upside down, and she is forced to re-examine her ambitions and dreams. Populated with a cast of charming characters, *The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store* is a beautifully observed tale of small-town life, exploring love, prejudice, and identity in the wake of World War II.

About the Author

Jo Riccioni was born in the UK to an Italian father and English mother. She worked in Singapore and Paris before settling in Sydney, and she has a master's degree in literature from Leeds University. Her short stories have been read on the BBC and Radio National, and published in *The Best Australian Stories* 2010 and 2011. Her story 'Can't Take the Country out of the Boy' has been optioned for a short film.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store
 
4.8

(based on 4 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (4)
  • Well written (4)
  • Page turner (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift (4)
    • Older readers (4)
    • Travel reading (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Bookworm (3)

    Reviewed by 4 customers

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    5.0

    So much more than a beautiful romance

    By Sam

    from Sydney

    About Me Bookworm

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Engaging Characters
    • Page Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Older Readers
      • Travel Reading

      Comments about The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store:

      Such a moving read! Not only did I get completely caught up with the characters; their dreams and dilemmas, but I also found I gained such an understanding of the migrant experience, and the complexities of the human experience in war. Connie is a wonderful character, surprising even herself I think with her strength of will and ambition, and the settings in both Britain and Italy are so richly drawn it's as if you hear the commotion of village life all around you. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with high expectations of truly great historical fiction/romance, and can't wait to read more from this author.

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      England meets Italy

      By Jenny B

      from Sydney

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Engaging Characters
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Older Readers
        • Travel Reading

        Comments about The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store:

        A beautifully written novel, cleverly blending 2 cultures!

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        Heart-warming read

        By Jenny

        from Bulli

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Engaging Characters
        • Page Turner
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift
          • Older Readers
          • Travel Reading

          Comments about The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store:

          I bought this book as a result of a review. I thought it was a very good read, very comendable for a fiirst book by the author; it was heart wrenching in parts but evocative of small towns/villages. I especially liked the device going from the English village and then the Italian village highlighting the gossip which formed so much of the lives of inhabitants in both places and the horrible outcomes of that gossip. All was well in the end and I have to confess that I like a good ending.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          A moving story, beautifully told

          By Barb the Bookworm

          from Sydney

          About Me Bookworm

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Engaging Characters
          • Page Turner
          • Suspenseful
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers
            • Travel Reading

            Comments about The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store:

            The characters in this book are so real they almost leap off the page, and you want to take the best of them home. It's a love story that also examines the constraints of the village, family relationships, what it means to be an outsider and the effects of war on individuals and communities. I loved it and I think it deserves to become a bestseller.

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            ISBN: 9781922070883
            ISBN-10: 1922070882
            Audience: General
            Format: Paperback
            Language: English
            Published: 26th March 2014
            Publisher: Scribe Publications
            Dimensions (cm): 20.9 x 13.4  x 2.9
            Weight (kg): 20.9