Rosanna Chiofalo: Stella Mia

Julia doesn t emember much of her Italian mother since she left when she was very young and Jul ia was brought up by her father and Aunt Julia discovers a trunk in the basement of her father s home and finds a diary and clothing that belonged to her mother As Julie begins to 6 Verses That Can Change Your Life read the diary her mother s life unfolds and she has an amazing story to tell Julie disco I picked up andead this book to complete a Lets Be Just Friends (Just Friends, reading prompt challenge for 2018 The prompt was pick a book from the cover art I loved the cover and I love Italy While I think this story had great potential it got bogged down and lost It often fell intoambling pages of esoteric data that was distracting and A Mother and Daughter Diary of Raw Food Recipes for Beginners really not important to the story Ieally enjoyed many parts of the book and the overall story would have been great but by the end I was just glad the journey was over But I have ticked off a 2018 prompt Full eview to follow on Stella Mia is a novel about love gypsies and looking for a home and the beautiful beaches of Italy But mostly it s a hauntingly beautiful tale about mothers and daughters Julia finds her mother s diary and because her mother left when she was young it s a treasure to Julia The book opens with Julia s story but eally pulls you in. Rosanna Chiofalo's poignant beautifully written novel evokes the stunning scenery of Sicily and the Aeolian Islands and tells of mothers and daughters love and sacrifice and the choices that Au bagne resound across continents and through generations Julia Parlatone doesn't have much toemember her Italian mother by A grapevine that Sarina planted still flourishes in the backyard of Julia's childhood home in Astoria ueens And there's a song Stella Mia sh.

She felt about being abandoned by her mother how she came to accept it and where is now in her life it wasn t enough for me She tells us about her elationship with her husband and father but we don t get to experience it because we delve ight into Sarina s story and as we are eading it we never get to experience Julia s eactions to what she learns until the very end of it I can understand why it was done this way but I think that s part of the disconnect for me I wanted to know about her immediate eactions and how she processed them all but not experiencing that part of Julia s story was disappointing Sarina s story is heartbreaking and I was sickened by how her father treated her but I did admire her will to live despite all she went through and the strength that it took her to take that first step to find something better even if it meant leaving those she loved The omance between Sarina and Carlo I found to be sweet maybe a little forced at times but since Sarina was all about going with her gut I can see how what they felt for each other could turn into something soul deep The ending is sweet and does give closure to both Sarina and Julia s stories that will leave you with sense that everything has come full circl. Flinchingly of her harsh childhood and of a first passionate love affair; of blissful months spent living in the enchanting coastal esort town of Taormina and the unspoiled Aeolian Islands north of Sicily as well as the easons she came to New York By the diary's end Julia knows she must track down her mother in Italy and piece together the est of the complex bittersweet truth a journey that for better or worse will change her own life forever.

During the flashback to Julia s mother s life The flashback is the bulk of the story We find out how Julia s mother Sarina grew up how she made her own way how she fell in love and how she sacrificed her own happiness for someone else The end poignantly brings the story back to Julia I didn t know how invested I was until I felt tears unning down my face in sorrow and joy at Julia and Sarina s love for each other Stella Mia is sad I ll be honest It s harsh at times disturbing and heartbreaking But it s all worth it when you get to the parts about holding hands on the beach singing Stella Mia and feeling the love when someone says Ti voglio bene Kinda just like life provided an advance copy in exchange for an honest eview 25 starsThis is a book that falls under the It s not you it s me category because it just didn t move me as much as I thought it would The description of Sicily 1969 was done beautifully and felt like I was walking the streets and beaches of Taormina and the other islands Sarina visited I just couldn t fully connect with Julia and Sarina for that full emotional ollercoaster experience that the blurb promised Of the two I felt less of a connection with Julia Though we meet her first and she explains how. E ecalls her mother singing my star my star you are the most beautiful star until the day she left three year old Julia behind and eturned to Italy for good Now a happily married school teacher Julia tries not to dwell on a past she can't change or on a mother who chose to leave But in an old trunk in the family basement she discovers items that belonged to her mother a song book Tarot cards a Sicilian folk costume and a diary Sarina writes un.

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Rosanna Chiofalo is a first generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s She is the author of Bella Fortuna Carissima Stella Mia Rosalia's Bittersweet Pastry Shop and the novella Seven Days of Christmas which appears in the WHEN THE SNOW FALLS collection She lives with her husband in New York City Visit RosannaChiofalocom