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All This Talk of Love

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3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  562 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
It s been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America. That was the last time she saw her parents, her sisters and brothers everything she knew and loved in the village of Santa Cecilia, Italy. Maddalena sees no need to open the door to the past and let the emotional baggage and unmended rifts of another life spill out.

But Prima was raised
...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Algonquin Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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BetsyD
Feb 20, 2013 BetsyD rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full disclosure: I'm a friend of Christopher's, though despite our once attending a second-tier university we both have fabulous careers now; mine consists of critiquing literature professionally, so if I didn't like my friend's book, I wouldn't include it on my Goodreads list.

I loved A Kiss from Maddalena and liked The Saint of Lost Things, but All This Talk of Love is even better. It was a tough assignment, talking of love without getting sentimental, but this book manages to pull it off, show
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Kathleen
Jul 25, 2013 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am someone who sticks bits of paper in pages as I read so I can go back and reread passages, possibly to record words or ideas at the end. While reading “All This Talk of Love,” I could not stop to rip up my scraps of paper; that would have been too much of an interruption.

The opening pages, my introduction to the Grasso family, pulled me right into the mother and father’s corner, Maddalena and Antonio. A mother who speaks to her son in graduate school in Boston every night at 11:01 about thei
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Michael
Aug 09, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maddalena years in Santa Cecila Italy is filled with hurt and painful memories.Leaving her hometown behind her after marrying was the best decision that she ever made. Antonio, her husband feels the same way, thinking that it was best that they leave the past behind them and restart their future. It has been over a decade since the last time they been home and they plan to keep it that way. Frankie a dear child of the couple, is an introverted shy man that prefers to books than to party with str ...more
Miranda
Jun 27, 2013 Miranda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel struck me in a way that I can’t quite explain. I really enjoyed it, nearly loved it – the only thing holding me back from loving it was that, at times, I felt it moved a bit slowly. But I liked the plot – members of the Grasso family each having at least one difficulty they need to come to terms with, both internally and externally – and I felt the characters were really well developed and consistent throughout the novel. Maybe the book struck me because I connected with each of the c ...more
Susan
Jun 10, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I was glad to get back to the Grasso family, this is a very sad book, and I felt a bit cheated having missed out on the past 40 or so years of their lives. So much has happened since The Saint of Lost Things -- life, death, people have grown up and changed. But Maddalena has never been able to quite heal the wounds that come from being taken from her beloved family and Italian village and there is never any certainty that she truly loves Antonio the way she once loved, in Italy. Antonio ta ...more
Karen Blinn
Although this book has received glowing reviews in the critical review magazines read by librarians, I found it somewhat of a letdown. It chronicles the story of a married couple who came to the States from Italy and their first-generation American children. Antonio Grasso married Maddalena after he returned to Italy and viewed the available daughters from her family. She left the love of her life behind in Italy to move to America with him. She cut off all contact with her family back in Italy ...more
Sydney
I received a copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers Program.

I really enjoyed this book. Be advised though, this is the third book in a trilogy by this author. I wish I had known that going in. However, the story is strong enough to stand on its own.

That being said, this was a very well-written, sweeping story of an elderly Italian immigrant couple and their two adult children.

There are many heartbreaks revealed along the way. The story bounces between the parents, Maddalena a
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Debbie Maskus
This is an interesting book that delves into the psyche of a few of the main characters. I especially like the musings of Antonio Grasso and his feeling for his wife of 50 years. His constant acts of love for her, when all she thinks about is an old love from Italy, are amazing. Antonio fell in love with Maddalena the first time he saw her, and that love never falters. I did not like the younger son, Frankie. He is a weak and dependent individual. The only daughter, Prima, must face her own demo ...more
Julie Whelan
Castellani has a wonderfully warm and sensitive way of characterizing older people. This quality really made this book shine for me. I will always remember the older couple, Antonio and Magdellena, and their final trip to their hometown in Italy. I wished this part of the story happened earlier in the book and lasted longer. At times the beginning of the book was a bit choppy and hard to follow.The younger characters, Frankie a graduate student; Birch, his sex crazed, uncaring and unethical advi ...more
Raquel
Feb 20, 2013 Raquel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, february
My favorite book in the Grasso family trilogy. This book was haunting and melancholy and funny and true. This book follows Maddalena in the last days of her life. We meet her three children and learn about them as well. Antonio becomes even more complex and fascinating as a character. There are a lot of secrets in this family, and regarding a few of them, the reader is the only person privy to every part of the story.

A wonderful wrap-up to Castellani's series. He's a talented writer and it feel
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Gochrisgo
It is interesting to me that a gay male novelist chose to write a novel about identity, belonging, and community arguably without a gay male main character.

The characters are not drawn richly enough to consistently keep my attention.

The authors end note succinctly talks about his personal experience on a family trip to Rome. The story might make a memoir stronger than this fiction.
Marty
Feb 02, 2013 Marty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this book, but at times I got tired of the endless family dynamics and the binds of love they talked of.
I liked the daughter until "the big event" but after that not much was heard from her.
The book is well written and moves well until the last go around and gets a bit bogged down.
Bonnie
Mar 22, 2013 Bonnie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book tonight. Perhaps I should have read the others first. I found the characters harsh and unlikeable. Depressing and sad, especially Prima and Frankie. I did like the love story of Maddalena and Antonio.
Joni
Feb 19, 2013 Joni rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The reviews of this book made it seem more interesting than I found it, although I still finished it. It was not my favorite - too much like watching someone else's family life with no good conclusion - you just stopped watching. I wouldn't read it again.
Elayne Clift
Mar 23, 2014 Elayne Clift rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartwarming tale of an Italian-American family, with all its foibles, frustrations, loyalties, love.
Lisa
May 25, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I could relate to this book in so many ways. Good read for 2nd generation Italian Americans who are really American Italians!
It
Adam Olenn
Aug 06, 2013 Adam Olenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A difficult book to read, what with tears in my eyes the whole time. Buy several and give them to your family.
Pat
Dec 31, 2016 Pat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Apparently this is the third book in a trilogy. I read it as a stand-alone, and don't think I missed much by not reading the first two books. The Grassos are a first-generation Italian American family who own a successful restaurant. Their married daughter, Prima, has four sons and lives nearby and unmarried son, Frankie, is teaching at an academic setting. Their older son, Tony, died as a teenager.

I didn't find much to admire or like in any of these characters. There is a great deal of secrecy
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Ilaria
Dec 27, 2016 Ilaria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tutto quello che pensiamo quando parliamo d'amore racconta la storia di una famiglia italo-americana.
Antonio e Maddalena Grasso sono partiti per l'America subito dopo il matrimonio, si sono stabiliti nel Delaware e hanno aperto un ristorante che è diventato l'attività della famiglia. La vita in America ha riservato alla coppia molte gioie ma anche dolori. I loro figli, Prima e Frankie, non sono mai stati in Italia, è per questo che Prima decide di regalare a tutta la famiglia un viaggio in Itali
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Barbara
The love in the story revolves around an immigrant family wanting to return to the Old Country to see relatives before the mother sinks into Alzheimer's to the point that the trip won't mean anything. Good family dynamics in the story but writing didn't impress me.
Patty
Nov 18, 2016 Patty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sadness of individual hurts climax in the this story about an Italian-American family dealing with the matriarch who suffers from Alzheimer's,
Lee
Jan 03, 2017 Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite quote of the book is "Penso che in sogno cosi non ritorni mai piu." It will never happen again, such a dream.
Il confine dei libri
Salve a tutti ragazzi,
ho appena finito di leggere: "Tutto quello che pensiamo quando parliamo d'amore" di Christofer Castellani donatomi in anteprima dalla Newton Compton. Il libro ci racconta di Maddalena e Antonio, due italiani emigrati in America per lavoro. Maddalena ha dovuto sposare Antonio per volere della

famiglia abbandonando per sempre l'uomo di cui era innamorata, Antonio, insieme a suo fratello Mario, ha un ristorante italiano che permette una bella vita a tutta la sua famiglia: l'Al
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Virginia
Jun 19, 2013 Virginia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Married to a 2nd-generation Italian-American whose relatives neither remembered nor talked about the old country (except Nonno, who was a man of few words-- all I got was his view of Vesuvius from the back stoop), I was intrigued by the NYT review of this book.

I've been reading the trilogy straight through like a novel in 3 parts. Each book stands on its own, and is removed from the others by decades.

The first (A Gift from Maddalena) is highly recommended. It's a keyhole view from a tiny Itali
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Mirella
Feb 16, 2016 Mirella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All This Talk of Love is a poignant novel about an Italian-American family and their family dynamics. At the heart of the story is Maddalena, the matriarch, a woman with an abiding love for her adult children, Frankie and Prima.

Maddalena speaks with Frankie every night on the phone, at the end of which they tell each other, 1CI love you. 1D It is this that the title is based upon. Each character faces adversity in their lives. Antonio and Maddalena still grieve the death of their 15 year old so
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E
Apr 25, 2013 E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maddalena and Antonio Grasso, married for fifty years, are Italian immigrants living in America . Not once have they returned to their village of Santa Cecilia to visit. Maddalena never opened the mail she received from her family. She closed the door on that part of her life. All This Talk of Love by Christopher Castellani is an in depth depiction of the Grasso family.
The Grasso's had three children, two sons and a daughter. Their first son, Tony, committed suicide. The Grasso's are a close fam
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Jennifer Garcia
Dec 29, 2012 Jennifer Garcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
I chose this book because of the Italian/Italian-American family dynamic. Being Italian-American myself I love to read books like this, and this one did not disappoint.

Castellani took an Italian family and used real life and sensitive subjects to stir up their family. And like any typical family: some loved too much, others not enough, some thought they weren't loved at all, and another was the what she thought the conductor that kept the family glued together. In the end, nothing was at it see
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Michael
Oct 13, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Christopher Castellani's third novel is a beautifully evocative examination of a family greatly affected by a past tragedy and their ethnic culture. Antonio and Maddalena Grasso came to America from Santa Cecila, Italy fifty years ago. Together they had three children, but lost one tragically years ago. Now their remaining children and grandchildren have each formed a family construct based on their individual experiences, while Antonio and Maddalena each deal with their personal grief in solita ...more
Gaele
Jan 30, 2013 Gaele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, net-galley
An examination of the multiple permutations of love, loss and memory all viewed from the eyes of Italian immigrants, this touching and poignant book opens a door into love, and all of the ways it can shelter, protect, shield and not surprisingly, thwart.

Told from several perspectives, the characters all begin to form an oddly poetic perspective for the reader, as everyone’s views combine to give you a fuller picture. Like all families, the Grassos have their levels of dysfunction, secrets, trag
...more
Joseph
May 26, 2014 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Italian-American families. Growing old. Father in one world, son in another. I can't relate. As the youngsters would say, "Not."

Castellani cast his not-so-subtle characters in a subtle way. He told just enough that we know each one intimately. He's also achieved a rare feat, capturing the essentials of love and craziness in an Italian family. If those two forces are stereotypical, his treatment was not. There was genuine understanding of why and how such cultural norms make sense. The lives of
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Mansfield Public ...: All This Talk of Love 1 4 Jul 04, 2013 08:08AM  
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Christopher Castellani was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. His parents immigrated to the United States from a small village in Italy in the years following World War II, and their experiences have been a significant inspiration. A Kiss From Maddalena, Christopher's first novel, was published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in April 2003, and was subsequently published in Australia, the ...more
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