Friday, June 20, 2014

Midsummer by Carole Giangrande

Midsummer by Carole Giangrande

Completion Date: May, 2014
Length: 96 Pages
All her life, Joy's been haunted by a man she's never met -- her visionary grandfather, the artist Lorenzo. At work on digging a New York subway tunnel, his pickaxe struck the remains of an ancient Dutch trading ship -- and a vision lit up the underground, convincing him that he was blessed. As it turned out, his children did well in life, and almost a century later, his granddaughter Joy, a gifted linguist, married the Canadian descendant of the lost ship's captain. Yet nonno's story also led to the death of Joy's cousin Leonora, her Aunt Elena's only child. It was a tragedy that might have been prevented by Joy's father, Eddie, a man who's been bruised by life and who seldom speaks to his sister. Yet in the year 2000, he has no choice. Wealthy Aunt Elena and Uncle Carlo are coming from Rome to New York City to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They've invited the family to dine at the sky-high tower restaurant above the tunnel where nonno Lorenzo saw his vision long ago. On the first day of summer, Elena and Eddie will face each other at last. Midsummer is a story of family ties and fortune, and of Minding peace as life nears its close, high above the historic place where nonno's story began.
“Carole Giangrande's Midsummer sets sail in search of distant turning points. She holds the heart of her story gently, and she steers us gracefully through time, and memory. The elegance of her language casts long shadows. She moves us as she writes from the center of longing and wonder.” - Karen Lee Lewis, author of What I Would Not Unravel
"Midsummer is emotionally focused and charged with the power of archetype, its undercurrent of passion perfectly controlled. Carole Giangrande has mastered the novella form." - Eva Tihanyi, author of Flying Underwater: Poems New and Selected
When a book is so short I struggle with how best to address a review because it runs the risk of being as long as the book itself! I always want to read more novellas, but it never seems to happen. I am more of a novel reader than any of the shorter fiction out there. But, sometimes a novella comes along that I just have to read and this was one of them. I think that shorter works need to have that 'bang factor'. It did take me a bit to get into this one, but it was worth it in the end.

But, then there is only positive... I love family history. I am a bit obsessed with my own. So, a novel that shows that as a main theme is going to call for me. I am a bit of a history buff, too, so that all plays into it! The characters really came to life for me. My big complaint with novellas and short story is that they are not long enough. I get to the end and 'I WANT MORE!'  How can it be over? How can there not be more to the story? Even though Giangrande wrote fabulous characters and a great, engaging story... I wish it was a novel and not a novella and that is why I don't read much in the way of short fiction. It is not really a bad thing and just is a mark of how fantastic the works are. But, Giangrande made things work and I am glad that I had a chance to read this book!



  1. Same problem with novellas--if they are good, they are never, never long enough.
    Love the cover of this one!

  2. That's my problem with short stories ... I always want more!

  3. My favorite character was Elena. She embodied grace and forgiveness to me.

  4. This sounds really good, Kelly. I love family history also, and think that is part of what would be the draw of this novella for me. Like you though, I imagine I will want more at the end too. That seems to be the case with most novellas and short stories, I find.


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