Sometimes I Dream in Italian
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Sometimes I Dream in Italian

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3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  348 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Angel Lupo grew up in a traditional Italian home — an exclusive club where Mama’s word was everything ... and where nice girls saved themselves for marriage. All Angel wanted was to be movie-star blond, change her name, and get as much attention as her prettier older sister Lina.

Now Angel is nearing thirty, penning Catholic greeting cards for a living, and still jealous of...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Delta (first published 2000)
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Frances Kelly
My cousin recommended this book to me; we are 100% Italian-American, and I thought I would be able to relate. Maybe it was this disappointment that leads me to rate this book as two stars, which nmeans, "It was okay." I attribute the fact that I didn't enjoy it more to what I call the "over-hype phenomenon." Definition: whenever someone raves about a book or a movie too much, they are setting the listener up for disappointment because they've set the bar too high. I did think the book was pretty...more
Gianna
Sometime I Dream in Italian
Rita Ciresi
224pp
Delta
038533494X

All siblings are jealous of each other and have things against each other. Younger siblings want to be just like their older sibling when they get older. They want everything they have, just so they can make their parents as proud as the other sibling has. Angel Lupo is one of those younger siblings. She wants to be like her older sister Lina.

If you love a classic comedy about sisters, lovers and family you have to readSometimes I Dream i...more
Lola
"Sometimes I Dream in Italian" is an interesting book, to say the least. It is written in the style of memoirs of fictional protagonist Angel Lupo - her trials growing up in an Italian-American home, how her upbringing touched and influenced her adult life, so on and so forth.

I found the book to be very interesting in the cultural aspect. Coming from a family that has almost no cultural affiliation whatsoever, I always find families whose traditions and cultures are still so prominent in their...more
Jennifer Johnson
This is one of those, "I'll just pull it off the shelf and it give it a go", cold call books- where for some reason, amongst the isles and isles of books, this one title caught my attention in the library. I gave the back cover a quick review and decided to try it out. Sometimes the cold call books surprise you.

This was a pretty enjoyable read. Interestingly enough Rita Ciresi's, Sometimes I Dream in Italian setting takes place in New Haven, of all places. It chronicles the life of a fictional I...more
Sarah Peterson
With my primarily stoic Germanic, Slavic family background, I am completely unfamiliar with the vibrant Mediterranean cultures and learned a lot from Ciresi. Her strengths definitely include well developed, complex characters and vivid detail. While reading, I also noticed a seemingly interesting blend of a young adult book feel with more adult themes-kind of refreshing! This is a perfect example of one of those books I feel cannot be evaluated in terms of the ending. Growing up in what some of...more
Maurey Pierce
Apr 17, 2007 Maurey Pierce rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Italian Girls, anyone with an overbearing mother or prettier older sister
I picked up this book because I am of Italian descent, and even though I was raised by a German/Norweigan mother, I found a lot to relate to. The Italian-specific mentions were fun to read (I loved when they talked about the things they were eating - yum!), but it's the family dynamics that make this book entertaining.

The book jumps back and forth between our protaganist's childhood and adulthood. There are a couple of humorous 30-something dating stories, but the scenes from Angel's tweens and...more
Elizabeth
Angel Lupo is still struggling to recover and distance herself from her Italian Catholic upbringing, while simultaneously dealing with her jealousy of her sister's life-husband, house, and children. As she and her sister struggle to come to terms with their present day lives they face some of their biggest obstacles yet.

Told in short story chapters that jump between the past and present, Ciresi's story is the most interesting and entertaining when relating childhood anecdotes of the sisters. Th...more
Suzanne
It's not often that I truly DESPISE a novel. This one made the list, however. This story was so depressing and lacking in anything of substance. I kept reading to the end thinking "surely there is something that one of these characters will do that resembles redemption or even a motivating factor for their annoying actions." But I was sorely disappointed. I don't need to read a "happy" novel to think it's good or that it has merit, but there was just nothing interesting here. This novel is just...more
Christy
I loved the first half of this book. It was funny and a great picture of growing up in an italian/american family. Very reminicent of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Her quirky, dysfunctional mom made me laugh and groan at everything she did and said. Unfortunately, she went on to write the second half of the book about her adult life, which was a horribly depressing, hopeless picture that blamed all the dysfunction of the daughters on the parents. I hated it. So if you decide to read this book, I wou...more
Peggy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pam
Well written with thought-provoking family dynamics and deft characterization. Angel (the narrator) is the only person who comes through fuzzily, but I suspect that is intentional, as she feels like she lives in the shadow of her older (and assumedly, prettier) sister. The end is realistic, and as such, a little disappointing, because these are unhappy, unsatisfied lives we're glimsping. The Elizabeth Berg quote on the cover makes the book sound a lot cheerier than it really is: no wacky Italian...more
Elizabeth
An unpretentious tale of two second-generation Italian-American sisters growing up poor in New Haven, seeking and mostly missing the American dream. It's one of those stories that seems to show a slice of reality that links up with yours, no matter how different it might be. The set-up is oddly like the U.S. portion of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, with the bitter immigrant mom, sexy older sister, unsexy smart protagonist, and urban Eastern working-class minority life -- and by my lights...more
A.T. Hicks
This book by Rita Ciresi is simply beautiful. It tells the quirky and occasionally jarring story of a blue collar Italian American family trying to provide the best life they can for their two restless girls. Following them into adulthood, readers watch through a distant window as the now fully grown women fight lonliness and depression in their attempts to live the perfect American life while straddling the fence between tradition and modernity.

Told in a series of short stories, this book is un...more
Lisa
I knew I had to read this book as soon as I saw the classic Catholic First Communion picture on the cover. So much of my own childhood was spent wishing to be blonde and live in a house that had Wonder Bread, white rice and didn't smell of garlic. I would suggest this book to anyone who grew up during the 70s and 80s in the US with parents who came looking for the American dream and weren't sure what to do with these Americanized offspring.
Margaret
Aug 14, 2011 Margaret added it
Shelves: 2005
I enjoyed reading this book. Each chapter was a story in itself and the book was broken into two parts - the first part was when the girls were kids growing up and the second part as adults. I liked the first part much better than the second - having a sister myself I thought the author captured the camaraderie, perils & joys of growing up together. Being Italian added yet another dimension to the stories.
Chris
Eh. I thoroughly enjoyed the first chapter and I'm not sure what happened after that. Book was more a series of essays pieced together. Some were hysterical, others left me wondering what happened. The plot had no real ending or conclusion, though it was implied...sort of.

Sadly, this book did not earn the coveted real estate space on my bookshelf. To Goodwill it goes.
Gina
Though this book was not by any means what I anticipated it to be which was disappointing it ended up being a decent read which is why I gave it 3 stars.

I had hoped it would be more about what growing up in an Italian family is like but it's more about two sisters and how let down they were by there parents which they seemed to dislike greatly.
Maria (Ri)
This book was quite bleh for me. I never really cared much for the characters. The story jumps around in time quite a bit. Sometimes I found this interesting and other times I found it annoying. Overall I was underwhelmed by this book. I finished it a couple days ago and can hardly remember it.
Lyneen
Jan 21, 2009 Lyneen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lyneen by: My bookclub
This was our book club choice.

Being of Italian decent I could relate to parts of it. I found it hard to read. When I read I like a book with a beginning middle and an end.

I didn't care for the ending.

One of my monthly book club selections!
Mom
This was delicious. I've never read her before and I'm going to run out
and get somemore of her books. Fun stories of growing up in an Italian American family. Reminds me a little of My Ugly Greek Wedding. Same kind of old world traditions and people.
Ginny
Oct 06, 2008 Ginny rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Italian American Girls of the 50,s and 60,s
Shelves: borrowed, pre-2005
This book reminded me so much of the stories my sister in law tells of growing up. I married into an Italian American family and this book is so close to them it is amazing. The fact that my brother in law grew up in New Haven really brings this one home.
Kathy
This book was okay. I am not Italian, and I think a lot of the experiences in this piece would be more appreciated by a fellow Italian person. Still a cute book. Great cahracters. I felt like I was not in the "in crowd" though.
Rosa
Clever book about growing up Italian. The childhood part was good, but the rest got to be a drag. The book started out to be a humourous take on an Italian family but ended with a bitter portrayal of the sisters lives.
Natalie
I liked this book becasue I can relate to having family who recently immigrated from Europe, and having to sort out the duality of an ethnic identity and an American identity.
Kecia
Holy Ravioli! This was a stinker!

I'm an Italian-American so I thought this would be a fun read. It wasn't. The only good thing I can say about is that it is a quick read.
Frank
This should have been funny but ended up going past unremarkable to just bad. So cliche, Chicklit hiding beneath a guise of familial saga and racial satire.
Sara Bedell
A must read if you are or love someone who is Italian. It also describes sibling rivalry very well. I read this while in college and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Margaret
Really, don't bother. Unfortunate book club selection of the "I'm a second generation American so I wrote a 'novel' about growing up 'ethnic'" ilk. Ew.
Lora
Okay. Read this a year ago and while I recall it was interesting, it really didn't stick with me as memorable so must not have been that great.
Cindy
I really enjoyed this little novel about two sisters of Italian immigrants. The parents drive them crazy. Humorous. Kind of dirty but I like it.
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Rita Ciresi was born in New Haven, Connecticut, a city which serves as the backdrop for most of her fiction. Ciresi is the author of three award-winning novels and two short-story collections that address the Italian-American experience.

Her latest novel, Bring Back My Body to Me, was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and a runner-up for the Faulkner/Wisdom Novella Award. Publ...more
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