Thursday, March 19, 2009

New this Month: Advice for Italian Boys by Anne Giardini

Sometimes the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree, as The Reader recently pointed out when they listed several proud literary parents and their bookish offspring.

One of the connections they mentioned was the one between former National Post columnist and fairly new novelist Anne Giardini and her famous author mom, the late Carol Shields.

Giardini’s second novel (after 2005’s The Sad Truth About Happiness), Advice for Italian Boys (HarperCollins Canada) is breathtaking. Inspired by the author’s own relationship with her mother-in-law -- the “Giardini” comes through marriage -- Advice for Italian Boys introduces us to Nicolo Pavone and his Italian-Canadian family -- and especially his grandmother -- bent on bringing him safely through to manhood on the strength of their hard-won experience:
Nonna referred to her store of lozenge-shaped adages as proverbi, but Nicolo, the quietest of her three grandsons, understands them to be the old timers’ way of administering advice, like a poultice applied in advance against trouble.
Advice for Italian Boys is richly layered, with a cast of deeply textured and enjoyable characters. This second outing for Giardini is quietly stunning.



Post a Comment

<< Home