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The Miracles of Santo Fico

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,056 Ratings  ·  223 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, 358 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Warner Books (NY) (first published March 1st 2003)
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Jess The Bookworm
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This novel is set in the fictional Tuscan village of Santo Fico. This village is in the middle of nowhere, built up by accident. When tourists get lost and end up in the town on their way to somewhere else, the town's people get so excited, and some try to capitalise on the story the 'Miracle and the Mystery' of Santo Fico.

The novel follows the lives of the people living in the village: those that are comfortable to live there forever, those that can't wait to get out and see the world, those wi
Sandy T
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
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.
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
2007 bookcrossing journal:

Hey - I finally finished this book last night =) Strange considering it is light, easy reading (the kind of thing that would be good for a holiday) but I did find it really hard to get into. The second half definately picks up the pace when the miracles finally come into the story, and I did grow to like the characters, in particular I thought the whole storyline with Father Elio was good. I like to read books set in countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece, if only fo
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jul 29, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  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
Karen Patterson
Jul 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ah, that all books could be this good. I do think you need to be 30 and over to truly enjoy the book. Meaning, you have to have lived life long enough to get the pain and anguish of regret and disappointment and the joy of forgiveness to appreciate the characters. Otherwise, this book would just come across as a fun, delightful read.
Carol Horner leclair
Jul 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Once in a Blue Moon one reads a magical book.
This is that book. I loved the characters and parts of the book had me laughing so hard that I nearly collapsed. I don't usually read books twice but I've read this one three times. I wish Mr Smith would write another book...soon.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My uncle wrote this and he is one of the best people in the world! A true literary labor of love!
Margaret Capozzolo
What a smile-producing read! Even with all their foibles and ticks, the people of Santo Fico were a joy to get to know. It was such a pleasant interlude to turn to a little novel in which the characters were intrinsically good (or if not good, dead), and the reader could enjoy every turn and twist of the plot knowing full well that all would end well. While the story was light-hearted, the language was well chosen and precise. Describing the gathered crowd in the church in one of the last scenes ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookclub
What a gem! This was a fun book that had me laughing out loud (blotched angel miracle). I enjoyed the setting of a run down, unknown, little Italian town. The characters were well developed and unique. You could easily fall in love with everyone in the town. I enjoyed the mysteries surrounding the town and thought everything came together beautifully. I can’t say I loved any one character more, they were all charming.

I am not big on suspense. I just don’t enjoy it. I’m sure no other person who
Jill Manske
May 23, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Nicole G.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I listened to this in the car on my way to and from work for the past few weeks. I think that made it a little harder to get into the story, but it was the same for some of my book club members who read the print version. William Hope is a good narrator, though.

Once the miracles start happening, it becomes more engaging. In sum, the atmosphere and descriptions, though a bit long-winded at times, are worth it. It's a sweet story towards the end, nothing really DEEP despite the title and descripti
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
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!

Carla Foy
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cute story. Could see it as a movie.
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful, delightful read.
Erika Schmid
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh, my heart. It is filled with so much love for this story and these characters. I would hate living in a small town where everyone knows each others business and yet I love everyone in this small town.

Santo Fico is a small village on the Tuscan coast. It is forgotten by many and rarely visited by tourists. Yet, when Leo returns after being in America for nearly a decade upon the death of his father, the whole of Santo Fico is turned upside down. Schemes go haywire as Leo wraps his old friend T
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't usually add anything about the books I read, apart from giving the amount of stars I feel inclined to give them, but this book was so uplifting I just have so say something extra. It is beautiful. It is wonderful. It is so uplifting and impossible to put down. I haven't felt so good about a book since "The Help", and this one is almost better, but in its own way. My good friend gave it to me to read and it is one I am actually going to have to purchase to have in my own library, because ...more
David Mitchell
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never before have I wanted to give six stars.

This novel deserves much acclaim. It is a joy. The purest form of its art.

The characters are well chosen and all well developed early in the novel. The humor is intensified by a thorough understanding of the characters and the colorful setting. The author cleverly uses the return of one of the characters to the village; Leo, to both weave the older of the characters back together, and also give life to another generation.

Elio, the priest, is everyth
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Innocuous enough book: one of those "prodigal child returns to ailing town and everyone's fortunes improve" stories. Wooden characters, predictable plot, shallow sense of human nature. Would be a great book to leave in a beach house for reading a few pages before bed.
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, but not sentimental, tale of faith and suffering, exile and return, miracles and humanity. The writing is wonderful, picking up the flavor of the inhabitants of this small Italian town on the edge of nowhere.
Edie Light
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
BBC - This is one of my all time favorite books. Wonderfully written story about growing up, Grace and various types of miracles. Loved it!
Joanna DeWolf
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Quirky characters, action goes up and down throughout, redemptive ending. Fun read.
Kristin Aasheim
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully sweet tale of hope and faith which encourages us to open our eyes and see our everyday blessings and miracles. A great reminder to be grateful for at least one thing every day.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
A bit too cute for my taste, but written well enough. I found the characters too predictable and the whole story a light comedy.
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Some sweet moments
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know why this book took me so long to read, but it took me SO LONG... That aside, I actually quite enjoyed it. There are moments that killed my enthusiasm for it (a bit more sexual innuendo than I typically enjoy), but the author's humor and his ability to capture "tragic-comedy" is pretty brilliant. And, the characters! All of them, even those who only appear briefly, are so... full; D.L. Smith really knows how to capture a personality, even in the briefest introduction, without making ...more
Mary Ann
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A delightful fast moving story with an unexpected ending
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010
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
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