David Schmelkes's Reviews > Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Love, Lust & Forbidden Fruit
Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Love, Lust & Forbidden Fruit
David Schmelkes's review
May 08, 2009
A bookseller friend of mine passed along her ARC of TOMATO RHAPSODY to me and I just fell in love with this novel. It was a wonderfully funny and heartfelt read. On the surface, TR is an oft told Shakespearean-like story of forbidden love between an Ebreo (Jewish) tomato Farmer and a Catholic olive grower set in a 16th century Tuscany, but like a good Shakespearean farce there are a feast of subplots, history, faux-history and a dazzling array of characters--I was especially taken by the Good Padre and the Duke of Tuscany. For a debut novelist I was duly impressed by how Schell managed to weave five or six different plot strands into one tight and highly effective narrative. The author has a real skill at managing large scenes with multiple perspectives. Two chapters in particular, the Feast of the Drunken Saint and a large tavern showdown in which a marionette puppet steals the scene were for me, an absolute tour de force.
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