A novel about Italian immigrants and their lives in northern Italy as well as in America in the early 1900s. Enza and Ciro meet on a moonlit night in the cemetery of Sant'Antonio da Padova in Schilpario, Italy when they are just teenagers. They go their separate ways to new lives in America but they never quite leave behind their beautiful homeland. The descriptions are magically vivid and although it is a love story of sorts, it's also a powerful testimony on the strength of the human spirit and the importance of family.
The Forgotten Garden shifts back and forth through time to solve a mystery about a four year old girl Nell; abandoned and waiting alone on a dock in Australia for parents who never come. The only link to her past is a little white suitcase the child carried when she was found.
Nell embarks on an adventure and attempts to piece together the mystery surrounding her past. Her travels lead her to Blackhurst Manor, delving deep into a family's secrets and purchasing a cottage in Cornwall near the Manor. Before she can solve the mystery of her past, Nell dies but her grandaughter Cassandra takes up the quest. This is a fairytale-like novel with old houses and hidden gardens all containing secrets and surprises.
When I finish reading a really enjoyable book, I want to flip back to page one and start reading again. Of course, its never the same as the first read, and if it isn’t a series, then I have to find a new title that’s just as good. This usually means bugging family, friends and other librarians for recommendations.
In case you haven’t found a good follow-up read for this year’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, here three titles with similar themes.
Charming book about a food writer who travels to China seeking the truth of a paternity claim against her deceased husband. In addition she receives an assignment to interview the owner of a new restaurant opening in Beijing. She soon discovers the restaurant owner is one of ten finalists for the Chinese Cultural Olympics too. These two story lines, the paternity claim and the preparation for the culinary contest, are woven throughout the book. This will be appealing to lovers of Chinese food, romance, and anyone who enjoys historically accurate cooking.