Friday, December 6, 2013

The Homecoming Party; Carmine Abate

The Homecoming Party; Carmine Abate
Europa - 2010

The Homecoming Party by Carmine Abate was a short novel (fewer than 200 pages) which I enjoyed.
The story begins with a father and son enjoying a bonfire on Christmas Eve outside of their village church.   It is a happy day for Tuillio and his son Marco, as work is scare in Hora, a village near Calabria in Italy. Trulio has had a hard time finding enough work to support his family, so he often must travel to France and work in dangerous conditions like coal mining, in make a living. He has just returned from one of his absences.

While he is away, Marco, his preteen son, likes to think he is the man of the house, watching out for the family: his mother, his grandmother and older college-age, half-sister, Elisa who comes home from school on the weekends.

As father and son catch up at this latest Christmas Eve bonfire reunion, the reader learns about Trulio's past. While Tuillio tells of things that happened to him while he was away, Marco recalls the day that he was roaming the rural terrain with his dog Spertina. On that particular day, he sees his sister lying down in a field with her blouse opened. He also catches a glimpse of an older man with “salt and pepper hair”.  Although Marco does not know it, the  “salt and pepper hair man”, is not a stranger to Trulio and, even Spertina the dog is familiar with the mystery man.

I had a hard time putting my thoughts to paper on this one even though I liked it. It was a coming of age story and a story about a fractured family as well. It’s difficult to say too much about this one without revealing spoilers, except that there was a shocking revelation that I had not expected.  The writing and translation was very good. I especially loved the descriptions of the region, and its people. Although people had to endure difficult circumstances in order to take care of their family, life did not seem all that terrible and had a nice slow-paced feel. Unfortunately, I never got a good feel for when this story took place, and that I would have liked to know.  I loved that I was able to read this one cover to cover in just a few hours. It really held my attention and loved how it packed a punch as well.

4/5 stars (my shelves)

8 comments:

  1. I dont think the 'spoiler' would have helped me like the story more. I am not keen to read stories that upset me right now.

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  2. hey nice post mehn. I love your style of blogging here. The way you writes reminds me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog titled The 2 Forms Of Personal Development And How They Can Help You Grow .
    keep up the good work.

    Regards

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  3. Your review has definitely made me interested in this book! Italy would be a new locale for me. I see he has another book Between Two Seas that looks good two. I will be getting both of these with my amazon points after Christmas! Thanks Diane.

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  4. This looks really interesting- I love books that take place in Europe and other regions with interesting culture. http://publishersdaughter.blogspot.com/

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  5. An interesting book and another great book review. Thanks Diane :)

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  6. This looks interesting - you write such great reviews :)

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  7. You make this sound interesting.

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  8. I am interested in short books these days but I need something happy this season. A possibilility for next year though.

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