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An Italian Wife (Hardcover)
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From the best-selling author of The Obituary Writer, the stirring multigenerational story of an Italian-American family.
An Italian Wife is the extraordinary story of Josephine Rimaldi—her joys, sorrows, and passions, spanning more than seven decades. The novel begins in turn-of-the-century Italy, when fourteen-year-old Josephine, sheltered and naive, is forced into an arranged marriage to a man she doesn't know or love who is about to depart for America, where she later joins him. Bound by tradition, Josephine gives birth to seven children. The last, Valentina, is conceived in passion, born in secret, and given up for adoption.
Josephine spends the rest of her life searching for her lost child, keeping her secret even as her other children go off to war, get married, and make their own mistakes. Her son suffers in World War One. One daughter struggles to assimilate in the new world of the 1950s American suburbs, while another, stranded in England, grieves for a lover lost in World War Two. Her granddaughters experiment with the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll in the 1970s. Poignant, sensual, and deeply felt, An Italian Wife is a sweeping and evocative portrait of a family bound by love and heartbreak.
About the Author
Ann Hood is the author of eight previous books, including the best-selling memoir Comfort: A Journey Through Grief and best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most and The Knitting Circle. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Is there anyone who can write about the connections between ordinary people as well as Ann Hood does?
— Jodi Picoult
Glorious…Reading this novel was like taking a luscious train ride through the last century. …Full of surprise and wonder, the writing is at turns poetic and sensitive, then dynamic and wise. Ann Hood is a master craftsman. This resplendent novel is a grand crescendo in a pitch-perfect career.
— Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker's Wife
Hood reinvents the family saga into something spellbindingly new and authentically alive….From turn-of-the-century Italy to 1950s American suburbia to the psychedelic 1970s, Hood shows how love and history transform a family, fuel—and sometimes kill—their dreams, and connect them in ways they never might imagine. Sweeping, sensual, and downright astonishing.
— Caroline Leavitt, New York Times best-selling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
I loved Ann Hood's An Italian Wife in the same way I loved Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge—and for the same reason. The interconnected stories that fan out from a central character—in this case, matriarch Josephine Rimaldi—illuminate important truths about the ways in which our families, our ancestry, and the era into which we're born shape who we become. An Italian Wife is a multi-generational masterpiece.
— Wally Lamb, author of We Are Water
A big, full-hearted grazie to Ann Hood…. She has given us a feast of a story: impressive in its range, sumptuous in its evocations of love and loss, and deeply satisfying.
— Christopher Castellani, author of All This Talk of Love