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Advice for Italian Boys by Anne Giardini
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Advice for Italian Boys (2009)

by Anne Giardini

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252649,265 (2.86)5
Nicola Pavone, a middle child in an Italian-Canadian family, is trying to find his path in life--if only he knew how. It seems everyone--from his dad to his gym clients--is giving him advice. The one person that thinks they know what he wants is his nonna, Filomena, who believes she has all the answers to what each member of the family wants.… (more)
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In this novel, Giardini captures Italian culture abroad: what does it mean to grow up in an Italian family, what are its cultural differences and linguistic particularities. I loved Nonna's proverbi, the great care in detail from smells and tastes to clothes and attitudes and the description of the lives of the characters.
Unfortunately, the novel itself has a weak plot and no structure. Nicolo, the main character, does not give an impression of growing. While he is comfortable with his Italian identity, he has no desire to go back to his roots. The story focuses in and out of him, so it's difficult to keep track of his progress. Finally, information - of his sexuality for example - creeps out of nowhere, leaving the reader to wonder why it is suddenly such an issue.

A nice novel to read to get a feel for Italian culture, but not one that will make you think. ( )
  Cecilturtle | Nov 21, 2009 |
A lovely book with interesting characters, an engaging story, and a satisfying ending. Full review: http://www.canadianauthors.net/g/giardini_anne/advice_for_italian_boys.php ( )
  ripleyy | Apr 24, 2009 |
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A fantasia 'i l'omu esti chhjù povara assai d' 'a verità
Imagination is only the poor relative of truth
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For my husband
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"Itruoni 'e marzu risbìglianu i cursùni," Nicolo's nonna often said to him.
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