I’m not sorry that I took the time to read Christopher Castellani’s most recent novel before moving on to Pennsylvania. In fact, I think I like this novel even more than I liked its predecessor. In All This Talk of Love, Antonio and Maddalena are in their seventies and their two surviving children are adults. We learn early on that their eldest son, Tony, died as a teenager. Their youngest son, Frankie, is a graduate student, another lost soul searching for an academic life and interpersonal relationships that make sense. Their daughter Prima, their first-born and a baby at the end of The Saint of Lost Things is the mother of three teenage sons, the last of which is about to go off to college. For Prima, the empty nest is a frightening place. She has always been close to her sons, a little too close probably. Coupled with that, she sees her parents beginning to fail physically and mentally. It’s her idea to take the entire family back to St. Cecelia, their ancestral village, for the trip of a lifetime.
But things happen throughout the novel which postpone the trip. At first, Maddalena refuses to go, she has only her memories of St. Cecelia and doesn’t want to face how the place and the people have changed. Frankie sides with his mother. Then, there is an accident. When the trip finally happens, it’s different from everyone’s original expectation, and meaningful to each of them individually for very different reasons. [Read more…] about All This Talk of Love – Leaving Delaware