Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: "Midsummer" by Carole Giangrande

Midsummer Carole Giangrande
Published: April 30, 2014
ISBN: 9781771331388
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Highly Recommended

All her life, Joy's been haunted by a man she's never met -- her visionary grandfather, the artist Lorenzo. At work on digging a New York subway tunnel, his pickaxe struck the remains of an ancient Dutch trading ship -- and a vision lit up the underground, convincing him that he was blessed. As it turned out, his children did well in life, and almost a century later, his granddaughter Joy, a gifted linguist, married the Canadian descendant of the lost ship's captain. Yet nonno's story also led to the death of Joy's cousin Leonora, her Aunt Elena's only child. It was a tragedy that might have been prevented by Joy's father, Eddie, a man who's been bruised by life and who seldom speaks to his sister. Yet in the year 2000, he has no choice. Wealthy Aunt Elena and Uncle Carlo are coming from Rome to New York City to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They've invited the family to dine at the sky-high tower restaurant above the tunnel where nonno Lorenzo saw his vision long ago. On the first day of summer, Elena and Eddie will face each other at last. Midsummer is a story of family ties and fortune, and of Minding peace as life nears its close, high above the historic place where nonno's story began.

My Thoughts:
Novellas are sort of in the limbo-land of literature.  Too long for a short story, not long enough for a novel.  I will admit that I haven't read many, mostly because I just haven't had the opportunity.  The few that I have read have been part of a collection, so this is the first stand-alone novella I've read.

There are so many things to appreciate in this book.  Giangrande's style is truly poetic.  She gives this story an engaging other-worldly feel that borders on the magical.  She is also able to really focus in on the story--which is surprisingly complex for so short a book--and every word is essential.  

Another surprising aspect of this book is the depth Giangrande is able to give the characters.  The most intriguing character, Leonora, is not even truly present in the book.  I would love to have an Aunt Elena--a weaver of tales and family history.  But, on the flip side, Eddie is as tangible as stone.

I read this book in one sitting (and in little over an hour) and thoroughly enjoyed it.  If I had any complaints, it would be only that it took me a couple of chapters (really, only a couple of pages) to get my feel of the book.  But, other than that, this was a delightful read.

I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

About the Author:
Born and raised in the New York City area, Carole Giangrande now resides in Toronto, Canada. Her novella, A Gardener On The Moon was co-winner of the 2010 Ken Klonsky Novella Contest, and is published by Quattro Books. She’s the author of two novels (An Ordinary Star and A Forest Burning), a short story collection (Missing Persons), all published by Cormorant, and two non-fiction books. Her new novella, Midsummer, will be published in April 2014 by Inanna. She’s worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Radio (Canada’s public broadcaster), and her fiction, articles and reviews have appeared in Canada’s major journals and newspapers. Her 50-part literary podcast Words to Go has been downloaded over 20,000 times in 30 countries. She comments as The Thoughtful Blogger, and she’s recently completed a novel. She’s a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.

Find out more about Carole at her website, connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and find her on Goodreads.

For more thoughts on this book, please visit some of the other stops on the book tour (link goes to the front blog page, not the specific review):

Monday, May 19th: Books Speak Volumes
Tuesday, May 20th: Shall Write
Monday, May 26th: The Written World
Tuesday, May 27th: Must Read Faster
Wednesday, May 28th: Dwell in Possibility
Thursday, May 29th: Savvy Verse & Wit
Monday, June 2nd: The Most Happy Reader
Tuesday, June 3rd: Bibliotica
Tuesday, June 10th: The 3 R’s: Reading, ‘Riting, and Randomness
Wednesday, June 11th: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, June 12th: Dolce Bellezza

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I am giving away one copy of Carole Giangrande's "Midsummer"!

This giveaway is open to US Residents (no P.O. Boxes, please) and ends at midnight on June 13th.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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