The Miracles of Santo Fico
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The Miracles of Santo Fico

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  706 ratings  ·  175 reviews
A magical story of love...and miracles After twenty years, Leo Pizzola has come back to the Tuscan village of Santo Fico, still single and still looking for a way to get rich. The town is as poor as it was when Leo left, yet some things have changed. Of Leo's childhood companions, only little Guido, whom everyone calls "Topo," embraces him. His best friend is long dead. Th...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2003)
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Sandy T
Aug 19, 2008 Sandy T rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sandy by: Stacy
I took this book with me when I left for the weekend, hearing it was a lighthearted quick read, and I wasn't disappointed!
I was first going to just give this 4 stars because I felt like it took awhile to set the story up... but then I thought that if a book could make me laugh out loud the way this did in a few places, it deserved 5 stars!
This is a heartwarming story set in a little mountain town in Italy. The author paints the Tuscan area and its people so vividly, you really can feel the st...more
The characters in this book have faults. Their lives are not what they would have planned or chosen. But repentance and forgiveness happen. In chapter 16, I liked where it said, "He was pruning the olive trees in the wrong season. His watering was washing away too much topsoil around the vines. But he didn't care. He would do better tomorrow." Some days we aren't able to do things perfectly, but we do the best we can.
This book is meant to be enjoyed sitting outside on a hot summer evening with a glass of wine and nothing important to do the next day.

Every time I read this book I remember exactly why I love it so much. Sure I recommend it to friends and talk it up, but the way this book makes the reader feel is something indescribable. The feeling is somewhere between the cliches of sinking into a hot bath and going for an evening walk through the fields. It also makes me question my reviews of other books,...more
Aug 16, 2007 Candice rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Barb
I read this for our book group, and we all enjoyed it. It was a light story with interesting, memorable and likeable characters. The author has a great sense of humor and he knows when to use it.

What do you think a miracle is? Is it some big, earth-shattering event? Or is it something personal that maybe only a few people know about. This made me think more about what a miracle really is. I think it's something as personal as reuniting with a lost love or finding a better relationship between a...more
Karen Patterson
I must say this is one of my top 10 books and one I buy often to give away as gifts. You will laugh, cry and feel warm and fuzzy all over at times. Is it action-packed? No, but it's a beautiful and witty story about a middle-aged man who returns home to his small, charming, but falling apart, village. The characters are very interesting and quirky and you find yourself caught up in their day-to-day lives, secrets are revealed, with romance and faith renewed and redemption found. In fact, I was e...more
Jill Manske
The Miracles of Santo Fico is a combination fairy tale and fable that takes place in a small village in Tuscany. D.L. Smith weaves a story of miracles, both false and real, in this very poor, isolated village. It seems as if every character has a deep, dark secret that takes enormous energy to conceal, often leading to bitterness and barely suppressed rage. The people of Santo Fico go about their lives, while the secrets and mysteries are buried and never discussed. I don't think I've ever read...more
Once in a while, I just want a good story; nothing shocking, nothing shmaltzy, nothing overly suspenseful...just a good story, with interesting characters, a solid plot and a little subtle humor. This little book provided that!

Michele Hutchins
This book is officially one of my "read over and over again" favorites. The storyline is both entertaining and enlightening, inviting you to ponder how our hearts, attitudes, and beliefs can change as we grow. It reinforces the fundamental truths of life while allowing you a good chuckle at the foolish things we all do in the name of love and saving face in a small town. The intersecting relationships are portrayed as they really work in our circles of friends and family - sometimes we are at od...more
A wonderful, delightful read.
Joelle Anthony
I really enjoyed this novel. It's a bit slow moving in the beginning and took me until about page 80 before I was really sucked in, but that said, I never really wanted to stop reading. I knew it was something special and it felt good to read it - a bit heartwarming, I guess.

The only real detraction was that one character speaks English with a written-in-accent which drove me crazy. It totally stopped the flow every time he said something like, "there would'a be nothing wrong with'a..." That sor...more
Boeken die minder dan vijf euro hebben gekost zijn meestal niet veel soeps (ook al komt het dan van het Boekenfestijn). Ik begon dan ook met hele lage verwachtingen te lezen. Ik moet zeggen dat meneer Smith mij aangenaam verrast heeft: zijn schrijfstijl is van een aangenaam ritme, met leuke constructies, geen al te ingewikkelde beschrijvingen en er is genoeg ruimte overgelaten voor de fantasie van de lezer. Zijn personages konden wel beter, want Leo (bv) komt op mij over als een arrogante zak zo...more
Very fun read! Some of the passages are exceptionally beautiful and I love how the characters' stories are wound together and become clearer throughout. The ending was also better than I imagined/hoped for! I definitely want to go to Tuscany now--the descriptions of the bread, fruit, pasta, cheese, and wine meals made my mouth water.
I enjoyed this book a lot. Loved the setting, the characters and the whole theme of miracles and what constitutes a miracle! Unlike another reviewer, I though this book was well written. What makes a good story are all the probabilities - if there were none , there would be no story worth telling! This is a fun, heart warming read.
I really liked this book. Kind of a bland start, but the writing is really good - there are quite a few laugh out loud funny bits. It ties up into a nice happy ending, which is a bit soppy, but still a good book
I really enjoyed this wonderful book. The author does a nice job of developing the characters and leading the reader to the hilarious climax and resolution of the story. I chuckled throughout the last 100 pages or so. I felt part of the little town and wanted to get involved in making the townsfolk see what was going on. I guess that is testimony to the well-written nature of this book.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers. It could be a fun beach read or a book to teach in class. W...more
I picked this book for Book Club because the review said it was like Chocolat. Having loved that movie, I hoped I would love this book. I did enjoy the book, but I was frustrated with the poor quality of the writing. The author switched the point of view constantly, oftentimes in the middle of a paragraph, and the character development was shallow. I was surprised the book got published! Regardless, it was a good story, quite touching, and with many good themes to explore. I enjoyed the way thin...more
Apr 14, 2009 Jennifer rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: friends and family
Recommended to Jennifer by: Picked it up at a library book sale
This was a good book, light and easy to read.
Like others, I realized miracles come in many different packages and are very personal.
It is a hopeful book when it doesn't seem that hope exists.
Their lost faith is regained by simple acts and good intentions. This is a nice thing to read about.
The author hooks the reader by talking about unrevealed secrets. As a reader, I wanted to know, it kept me reading. I cared about the characters. Unfortunately, some writers do not stir that desire to know...more
A delightful book, set in a remote Italian village, reminiscent of Simple Prayers, by Michael Golding, who provided a blurb for this one. As in The Miracle, a priest doubts that God loves him. Villagers themselves in need of redemption from lives of deception and desperation make elaborate plans to create a miracle, all of which go awry in amusing ways. In the end, redemption comes in the form of the simplest and most profound of miracles--love and forgiveness and the care of neighbor for neighb...more
Interesting characters and good story set in Italy. Themes of regret and forgiveness.
What a beautiful, uplifing story! At first, I thought Leo and his buddy were the kind of engaging scoundrels such as those found in Steinbeck's "Tortilla Flats"--where every dollar found was an excuse to amble down the lane for a jug of "good red wine". But the characters in this book were so much more deep, complex, and real. I loved discovering each of the true miracles as they were revealed. It reminded me how any time a human heart heals, or a terrible past is forgiven, or people learn how t...more
Started off pretty slow I thought. It got better halfway through. In the end, it was okay, a simple read with a happy and warm ending. Some things seemed too far fetched such as someone loosing their memory and not being found in a nearby town and someone showing people to a hidden ditch, in the moonlight, from several years past.

My favorite part was the symbolism of the fig tree and St. Francis of Assisi.

Miracles can be big or small. Nice reminder at the end of the book of all the miracles that...more
Jennifer Hughes
"Miracles" was a really fun, light romp. It's my idea of a great "beach read," but I enjoyed it just as much reading it in the winter. It's the story of a black sheep returning to his small hometown in Tuscany after some years in America. The characters are believable and the setting timeless. The plot had just enough unexpectedness to keep me guessing, not to mention mysteries, miracles, and a few actual laugh-out-loud moments.

While certainly not the deepest book on the bookshelf, this book en...more
I found this a delightful book to read. It is upbeat and I think all the characters and storylines are woven so nicely together and all come to a conclusion. I think the author's details really help the reader "see" where the story takes place and meet the characters. I didn't find any laugh out loud moments in the book, but there were plenty inner-chuckle or smiles evoked from some happenings in the story. I am sure this book has every intention of becoming a movie one day...if it is not alread...more
Mar 19, 2008 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a cute story
Recommended to Amy by: Mojo
Shelves: favorites
For some reason, I absolutely adore this book. This is an extremely light, predictable book but for some reason it really entertained me to the fullest. The characters and the story were simply adorable and I have been wanting to read it again. Beth, do you still have this? I think it is out of print because I can't find it in stores anymore, or maybe it's just that nobody stocks it anymore! Hah! If you don't have it I will have to buy a copy from Amazon because I need this feel-good novel in my...more
Rebecca Allen
This is one of my favourite books - I found it in an independent second-hand bookstore in Ironbridge, and it's just perfect. It's about a tiny Italian town and how they cope when the fountain stops working the tree in the church gardens (that has been alive, it is rumoured since the life of Christ) stops blooming. Well written and poignant, D.L. Smith creates a world of down-to-earth characters, stripping humanity to bare bones and raw flesh.

This book wasn't ever a best-seller, but that's what...more
I found this book too boring to finish, so I'm surprised that so many people both on this site and on Amazon gave it 5 stars. I did read over half of it, though, so I feel entitled to comment. The author obviously has a great love of Tuscany and does a good job of creating the atmosphere of a dusty Italian hill town, but that is about the only good thing I can say about it. The characters are paper-thin. There is a plot of sorts, but it is so weak and develops so slowly that I lost interest.
Mary Jordan
Ummm, off to a promising start, eclectic characters in a small Italian town that, by its description, seems a lot like a Cinque Terra town.

OK, I really liked this book because it made me laugh. When you get to the last 1/4th of the book, pour yourself a nice glass of wine and sit and read it in one sitting. Super enjoyable, funny, yet with a very feel good ending...hmmm, trying exactly to recall the specifics of the ending...maybe too much wine...
Really feels like Italy...enjoy.
This book redeemed itself by having a good wrap up. I just took too long to get to the heart of the story. I did like the truths that the author finally shared - they are worth reading the book for. I especially liked the analogy that Father Elio used of comparing a butterfly emerging to people trying to change their lives. Also when Father Elio realizes that his whole life has been a miracle - that love and forgiveness were miracles, that was wonderful truth shared.
This book is a funny, heartwarming read. I particularly enjoyed the Italian characters with exaggerated personalities in the setting of an old, mostly-forgotten village called "Santo Fico." When the "manufactured" miracles which play out so well in the planning stages turn into farcical bumblings, there are hijinx a'plenty, and you can't help but want the best for the characters who try so hard. Loved the references to St. Francis of Assisi. Delightful!
It isn't often that I find a book that just captivates me, start to finish as this one did. I love the way it is written, the characters, the plot (s), the old Italian town, the humor, - just everything about it.
And I was impressed by it's wholesomeness and the absence of those words that slap you in the face and insult God. Five stars may be a bit of a stretch, but four seemed too few. I hope Mr. Smith has written more books and that I can find them!
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