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The House at the Edge of Night
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September 2019: Cultural > The House at the Edge of Night

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Susan Lewallen (susanlewallen) | 422 comments The House at the Edge of Night follows four generations on the fictitious island of Castellamare, Italy. The story starts with Amadeo, who comes to the island before WWI to serve as the doctor. We follow his family down through his great grandchildren during the financial crisis in 2008. It’s a story rich with cultural details, most especially Sicilian folk stories and the celebrations around the island Saint (presumably Saint Agatha of Sicily- had to look that up!). The physical details of the island are beautifully described, and provided a clear impression of what the place looked like. Each generation experiences its own traumas but the pace is slow and gentle, with plenty of time to develop and describe succeeding family members and eccentric characters in a close-knit island community. Strong, feisty women appear in each generation.

I suspect aficionados of Sicilian culture will find much to enjoy in this literary fiction. For me, the book provided a sense of perspective on life – and a feeling of optimism, although there is nothing saccharine in the story. Deaths, births, betrayals, two world wars, family squabbles, loves, losses, and financial hard times are all presented as inevitable parts of living. People – many of whom I fell in love with -- soldier on through good times and bad.


message 2: by Nicole R (new) - added it

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7644 comments Ooo, I love a good multi-generational story! And set in Sicily with great descriptions of the location sounds heavenly.

I am adding this to my TBR for sure! Great review!


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7132 comments I read this a few months ago and loved, loved, loved it-a jot from my review

After I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society I wanted to go that place-no other book since has done that for me-this one did-it's too bad that Castellemare is not real-I would go there in a minute.

@Nicole-I am sure you will enjoy this one!


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 8192 comments I just read this for our Italy Horizons - loved it!


Susan Lewallen (susanlewallen) | 422 comments Nicole R wrote: "Ooo, I love a good multi-generational story! And set in Sicily with great descriptions of the location sounds heavenly.

I am adding this to my TBR for sure! Great review!"


Thank you. I hope you'll enjoy it.


message 6: by Karin (new) - added it

Karin | 6889 comments I keep seeing these reviews, so I have added it to my want to read shelf here.


Joy D | 3093 comments Thanks for your review, Susan! Glad to hear this is a good one. I own a copy and will be reading it at some point.


message 8: by NancyJ (new) - added it

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4899 comments This sounds great. It was already on my (long) cultural list, and I'll try to fit it in this month.


Susan Lewallen (susanlewallen) | 422 comments NancyJ wrote: "This sounds great. It was already on my (long) cultural list, and I'll try to fit it in this month."

Hope you'll like it!


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