Advice For Italian Boys

Advice For Italian Boys

Book - 2009
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Anne Giardini's first novel, The Sad Truth About Happiness, garnered international praise for its beautiful story and rich, complex characters. Now, Giardini returns with a warm and witty novel about a young man discovering the difficulties and joys of finding his own way in the world.

Nicolo Pavone is the middle son in an Italian-Canadian family. His younger brother is a law student on the path to a brilliant future. His older brother is married and hides secret ambitions. Nicolo, however, still lives at home, working as a trainer at a gym, saving his money and respecting his parents and his nonna, Filomena. But he knows that this easy living can't last forever. Life beckons--if only he knew which direction to take.

Everyone, it seems, either has advice for Nicolo or needs advice from him. Dad advises university; Moms says marry and settle down. His brothers, his friends and his clients have their own ideas. But Nonna believes she alone discerns Nicolo's true heart and nature, and that her advice is all the guidance her grandson requires. By mining the collection of sayings and proverbs she has brought with her from the old country, Nonna believes she can ward off all evil from descending upon her brood. As she dreams, and schemes, she begins to discern what each member of the family needs most, including, finally, herself.

Anne Giardini explores our most significant relationships and decisions--how we choose our families, friends, work and partners--and how we choose to live in the world. A deeply rewarding book about the life-long process of understanding ourselves, Advice for Italian Boys explores the delicate balance of what we are born into and what we eventually become.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Canada, 2009.
ISBN: 9781554680306


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bibliotechnocrat Dec 15, 2014

The middle son of an Italian-Canadian family has trouble figuring out what to do with his life. Not much of a plot, really, but I loved the book anyway. So what if nothing much happens. I loved spending time with Niccolo, his two brothers, his superstitious Nonna, and the assorted friends in their landfill-burdened neighbourhood. I can see why some readers think this book is boring, but for me it was a real joy to read.

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