Home to Italy is novel by Peter Pezzelli and seems to be targeted to the Italian population here in North America; those first and second generation folks who still dream of home. I'm not a second generation Italian, but I do have dreams of Italy. Just not the same ones as Peppi, the protagonist in this story.
Peppi is a first generation Italian who have lived in the US for most of his life, but still remembers his childhood in his family's mill in Abruzzo. In fact he comes from a small village near Sulmona, which is where my wife's family is from. The small village is called Villa San Giuseppe but I don't remember it, and I can't find it on a map so I think we can assume that Pezzelli created this town for the story. It makes sense because Peppi does go to Italy to his little town and they are running a confetti factory. I would have heard of a confetti factory.
Pezzelli hits on all of the points that make Italy a wonderful place: the food, the weather, the people, the food, the gardens, the love of life, the tight family bonds, the history, and the food. Pezzelli takes Peppi on a full circle trip through his life, and all of life's ups and downs, joys and sorrows are visited along the way. This is a feel-good, romantic look at life in Italy and what it is to go home again, presuming one ever can.
Its fun, sweet, poignant, and heartwarming. It was the perfect book to finish out 2013 with, and I just squeaked it in on the 31st. Peter Pezzelli has a hand full of other books listed in backmatter of this one. It looks like the Italian tradition, here in the Americas, is the general theme.
Happy New Year everyone! And thanks to Joe & Fran for the book loan!