Whispering Tides

Whispering Tides

4.5 10
by Guido Mattioni

When his beloved wife Nina suddenly dies - after 23 years of life together - Alberto Landi understands he has to leave Milan Italy, where he has always lived and worked. He leaves his friends, colleagues, a good job and the polluted big city he has never loved which has now become even more intolerable to him. He is fifty, he is totally alone and he is confused,

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When his beloved wife Nina suddenly dies - after 23 years of life together - Alberto Landi understands he has to leave Milan Italy, where he has always lived and worked. He leaves his friends, colleagues, a good job and the polluted big city he has never loved which has now become even more intolerable to him. He is fifty, he is totally alone and he is confused, but he definitely knows that he has to escape very far away, across the ocean to the only place he and Nina had always loved together. He lands in Savannah, Georgia. There, in a natural paradise governed by the breath of the tides and with the help of many dear friends - colorful human characters as well as wise animals - he starts to rebuild his new life. His dream is coming true until the day he wakes up one morning and discovers that…

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
In Mattioni's novel, a recent widower from Milan realizes his dream of resettling in Savannah. In American novels, protagonists go to Italy to find themselves. For 50something Italian journalist Alberto Landi, America is the destination. Following his wife's death, he sells up and heads for Savannah, Ga., a city they'd both loved. For Alberto, it's more like coming home than leaving it: the city has always awakened primal feelings of longing, and its tidal, muddy waters remind him of "the thick scent of an excited woman in love" and "an amniotic liquid." Intoxicated by Savannah's lush beauty, he delights in its acceptance of eccentricity. In a city proud of its ghosts, Alberto feels comfortable conducting imaginary dialogues with the statue of Georgia's founder, James Oglethorpe, "knowing that I could count on his British and bronze discretion." Alberto also enjoys Savannah's characters, including the owner of a Confederate memorabilia shop and the unofficial historian of the city's historically black community. As he meanders from past to present and back, Alberto explores his dream of starting over. Alberto, whose grief is believable, is a likable fellow; it's easy to see why people are drawn to him and want to tell him their stories. Sometimes, though, the journalist is overly evident and may leave some readers wondering whose story Alberto is telling. Mattioni's understanding of American racial politics can be dicey. Uncle Tom is a sweet image for him, and he uncritically accepts both sentimental views of the Confederacy and hostile, sometimes racially and sexually charged comments about Northerners. Still, even in translation, Mattioni turns a nice phrase, like "bonsai memories that I planted in my happy yesterday" and a tall Irishman who "looks like a pale asparagus with red hair." Sometimes, though, the result is less felicitous: "my mouth, which was bitter and kneaded." Past and present are confusingly intermingled, however deliberate, and the ending relies on a fairly hoary cliché. Many thoughtful and wry observations inhabit this charming but uneven read.

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Guido Mattioni
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Meet the Author

Born in Udine, Italy in 1952, I have lived and worked in Milan since 1978. During 33 years of journalism I have worked for daily newspapers as well as weekly and monthly magazines while holding almost every professional title possible, from reporter to editor-in-chief and deputy editor to special correspondent. When I was younger - yes, I’ve been younger! - I wrote two non-fiction books. I’m married to Maria Rosa, a medical doctor who is a specialist in oncology and so she is also someone who is much more socially useful than I am, apart of being definitely a much more beautiful person too. If I could be reincarnated I would like to do it as a chef. I’m also very proud of having been an honorary citizen of Savannah, Georgia since 1998. My novel "Whispering Tides" ended as Finalist both The Global eBook Awards in Santa Barbara CA and the Usa Best Book Awards in Los Angeles (Literary Fiction category). In 2013 Global eBook Awards edition my novel is the Winner of Multicutural Fiction category. The italian original version of the novel, entitled "Ascoltavo le maree", has been adopted as a teaching "tool" by the Modern & Classical Languages Department at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

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Whispering Tides 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 10 reviews.
pitri More than 1 year ago
An author rich in sensitivity and humor, a touching book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous, you just told us the entire story and I would have to say that I really have no need to read this totally free book now. You are def. a plot spoiler. Do you always rewrite the darn book when you write a review ? You are the type of reviewer most everyone hates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
170 pages, sad, funny and remarkable. First person, stand alone, has everything a book should have. Well edited. I enjoyed this book very much. Ages 18 and up. Rooster and chick lit. I am not going to say much about this book because the overlong, plot spoiler has said it all and almost ruined the book. For shame! AD
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hiariously, spontaneously written with humour in the authors fingertips.
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SusanRussoAnderson More than 1 year ago
WHISPERING TIDES by Guido Mattioni, trans., William Marino and Daniela Zoppini, is a shining love story, one that gripped me from its opening pages. I read it straight through from cover to cover, mulled over my notes, skipped back and forth, re-read the highlights. Surprised and delighted in equal measure by its ending, I continue to ponder the meaning of the story and am loathe to leave the experience of this wonderful book. Although it is the chronicle of one man's grief, WHISPERING TIDES is the story of a humanist and his love for his friends and the South, for the bright mystery of animals, for the unique vision of characters with unfettered souls, for the locals who live in and around Savannah, Georgia. Dante might say that Alberto Landi, the main character of WHISPERING TIDES, is in the middle of life's journey and lost in a dark wood. Fifty years old, leading a successful life in Milan and surrounded by the trappings of wealth and glitterati, Alberto suddenly loses the love of his life, Nina, his wife of twenty-three years. His world crashes; he is lost without her. His grief is so deep that he journeys in body, mind and dreams across the globe to Savannah, Georgia, where once he knew happiness. He is in search of the rebirth that the new world and, especially, the southern sentiment and way of life, seem to offer. He stays at the home of a friend where he and his wife had enjoyed happier times. He revisits places and people he loves, commenting on and sharing their uniqueness. Vowing to rebuild his life there, he renounces his former work and possessions. Stripped clean of his old ways, he slowly, painstakingly begins his reawakening. To be more specific would give away the story. Alberto has a love of Savannah, its history, its people, its animals. Local characters abound. Many are humorous; all are unforgettable. Perhaps my favorite is the statue of James Edward Oglethorpe: "He appeared to be looking South with his right hand softly resting on the hilt of his sword as if to caress it, while his left hand was planted on his side in a posture halfway between that of martial vigilance and male dare. He seemed to be looking towards the Florida border and pondering the fact that there he had tried many times to spot the glittering helmets of Spanish bullies who were greedy for conquest and carrying unmentionable diseases." The novel is the journey of one man's dark night of the soul. It is for all of us, a poignant evocation of grief, but it is also a deep affirmation of life. Guido Mattioni's gift of storytelling is large. His spirit is exuberant, his grasp of American history is large. He has the eyes of a humanist and the soul of a poet. I recommend WHISPERING TIDES to all readers who enjoy a good story, but search for meaning in between the words, to those who want to come away from a great read with an even greater understanding of what it means to be human.