Customer Reviews for

Lambrusco

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    A mothers love

    There isnt one thing about this novel you wont love. A strong women who will risk everuthing for her son.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2008

    Lambrusco: A Review

    'Lambrusco' is the story of one woman's journey as she searches for her missing son across war torn Italy. The novel takes place during World War II and while war provides the horrific background, this is not a story about war itself, but rather about the way it affects those who are surrounded and engulfed by it. It is a story about ordinary people banded together in difficult, extraordinary times. It is about hope, the ways in which we, as individuals, affect those around us, about family, friends, and community. From the moment the book opens, with a list of the cast of characters, you know you are in for an interesting ride. Although the novel is told from Lucia's point of view, there are moments where Lucia's imagination takes over and the result is a panorama of all the things that make us human - our imaginations, fears, lusts, our love, our tenacity, and the relationships we forge and build in even the worst of circumstances. While Lucia must face devastating events, it is her hope, her voice that ultimately survives. The beginning of the novel sets up the journey Lucia must make, but it is the second half which really showcases Ms. Cooney's talent. She creates some real moments of beauty and humor, not an easy task considering the circumstances. Overall, 'Lambrusco' is a worthwhile read from a talented writer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    Real Sparkling Lambrusco

    In Lambrusco 'Pantheon Books.New York: 2008', Ellen Cooney interweaves travel literature, love stories, musical drama, and a rich display of characters with the 1943 background of war-ravaged Italy. The main character Lucia Fontini sings opera at her deceased husband Aldo¿s trattoria but ardently sets out in search of her partisan son Beppe after he destroys a German truck and goes into hiding. During her determined efforts to find him, Lucia encounters an American spy Anna Marie Malone, disguised as a nun, and meets her former suitor at the San Guarino train station. She suffers wounds in a bombing, takes shelter in an olive grove with other survivors, and receives aid from the American medic Frank Lamb, assigned to protect her and assist allied soldiers wounded in advanced guard movements against the Germans. Despite her wounds, Lucia then sets out on foot for Mengo, only to join passing farmers going to Cassaromilia. There, she views the bodies of dead Americans, earlier executed by their captors. Throughout her entire ordeal, Lucia sings out loud, mentally, and in her memory the arias of Puccini, Mozart, Verdi, Donizetti, Rossini, and Leoncavallo but feels only silence after Anna Marie Malone¿s torture and rape by the enemy. An unexpected turn of events helps her to regain her operatic talent. This charming narrative, skillfully woven, falls in the tradition of calamitous war/ travel literature like Alberto Moravia¿s Two Women and Beppe Fenoglio¿s stories about partisans, although softened to tragicomedy proportions through humor and the pervasive presence of Italian opera, as well as Ugo Fantini¿s turning of friendship with Lucia to romance¿all within the confines of a brutal conflict. In addition, Fellini¿s films infiltrate the writer¿s psyche, as when a wounded Lucia who receives her morphine shot, enters the world of dreams and converses with Enrico Caruso. Instead of singing the lyrics of Rosina in Rossini¿s The Barber of Seville, Lucia often substitutes the word lambrusco and rearranges the syllables in every way. She would start out ¿comical like a clown but the song would find its own way, lightly, airily, importantly, lam-brus-co, o-o-o, o-o-o¿ '26'. Reading Cooney¿s novel is not like drinking the cheap soda-type wine most people in America are familiar with but would rather be like tasting real lambrusco in a restaurant on the Italian Adriatic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    Lambrusco takes place in 1943 during World War II in German occupied Italy. Italian leader Mussolini is still alive and has many fascist followers throughout Italy. Those fighting the ¿Blackshirts¿ have to watch their actions and words to avoid punishment from the Germans and their followers. Lucia Fantini is a soprano who loves to sing opera in their restaurant, music that had been written by the most famous opera composers, but mostly those that were Italian. Lucia and her husband Aldo had owned a Restaurant before the war started and, like many others, lost their businesses to the fascist¿s that took over many buildings to assist the Germans. Aldo had died before the war but Lucia can¿t get him out of her mind as well as all their children and family that were so close before wartime came to Italy. Many of the Italians worked for the underground movement fighting their enemies and performing many brave acts to assist others fighting those enemies in their own homeland. For many it was ¿hit, run, and hide¿ to avoid capture. For their families these patriots were rarely in touch with them but were always hitting the enemy where they could do the most hurt to them. When villages were hit by bombs destroying or damaging buildings to the point that they were unlivable, the people had to roam the countryside to avoid capture and/or conflict with their enemies. This story took place during a time of history that I have always been eager to learn about from all sides. This is the first book that I have read that tells the war from the Italian side during a time before the allies had liberated Italy from the German occupation. While I feel that Ellen Cooney had a great story to tell, I feel that the intertwining of family and friends made parts of the book quite hard to follow. The last portions of the book did pull many things together where the reader could finally `feel¿ the action from the authors point of view and absorb her wrap-up of the extensive family actions and reactions to the hurt they endured and had seen through their own eyes. Lucia and Aldo¿s small restaurant had been well known due to the beautiful singing of opera by Lucia. The book opens with Lucia traveling by train attempting to take weapons in disguised bags to the partisans that desperately needed them. She was also in search of her son, Beppi, who had been given credit for blowing up some German trucks. A nun approached her on that train, or so she appeared to be, only to find out that this woman was disguised as a nun and was actually an American Intelligence agent that was there to aid Lucia and actually did save her from capture. The American, Annamarie, had been a golfer in Arizona. She had married an American military officer. During the story, Annamarie was severely injured during some of the fighting. The story takes you on the travels and tells you the trials and tribulations that partisans went through while they moved from village to small cities and throughout the countryside attempting to evade Germans, fascists, and even the bombs that the American airplanes dropped. These bombs dropped on many of their villages and cities and destroyed and killed many people, friend and foe alike. While I said the book is confusing at times, the story is one that needed to be told. Anyone that knows anything about Italian families knows that many of them are large and in the authors telling of this story, she is bound to cause some confusion. Don¿t let that stop you from reading Lambrusco.

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