Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Review: The Islands of Divine Music by John Addiego

About the Book: The Islands of Divine Music is a novel of five generations of an Italian-American family finding its place in the New World. Against a backdrop of Immigration, Prohibition, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the new millennium, five generations of the Verbicaro family make their way from Southern Italy to San Francisco as each character brushes up against some aspect of the divine.

My Review: This was a different sort of novel for me as it is told in individual stories rather than one solid timeline. At first I wasn't really sure I was going to like that method, as I wasn't expecting short stories. Particularly with the first story, I wanted to learn more about the matriarch, but the story had already floated over to someone else. However, once I got into the rhythm of the book, the pages flew and I quickly devoured it.

Addiego has tremendous skill as a writer, weaving together bits of each story to make a sort of whole. We get treated to the significant events in the lives of each family member as they relate to the larger story of who they are. I wouldn't call this a happy read, but it is a very satisfying and interesting read.

I think if you enjoy short stories or the kind of movie where you have several characters lives being portrayed the interlock in various ways, if you have an interest in family folklore or Mexican mysticism you might really enjoy this one. You can buy it here.



Anonymous said...

I do agree that Addiego is a skilled writer, but the linked stories concept didn't work well for me. I think I'm the only one, though - everyone else seems to love it.

S. Krishna said...

I'm glad you liked this one. I didn't realize it was more short stories than coherent novel.

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