It is 1943, and Vito Leone is one of the few men in the small Italian village of Santa Cecilia who has not been called to war. He is determined to capture the heart of Maddalena Piccinelli, a beautiful girl from a wealthy family in the same village. To her surprise, Maddalena finds herself falling in love with the young man’s boyish charm and sensitivity. Because her family does not approve of Vito’s family, Maddalena keeps her love for him a secret. When the war comes too close to Santa Cecilia, most families, including Maddalena’s, move to the safety of the countryside. Vito remains behind to care for his ailing mother. The war brings many changes during the next two years for the families of Santa Cecilia, and it affects Vito and Maddalena in ways they never could have imagined.
Those who have enjoyed books like Correlli’s Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres will appreciate this quick but satisfying love story. Castellani continues the story of Vito and Maddalena in his second and latest novel, The Saint of Lost Things.
Reviewed by md, 12/05. Other reviews by md.