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I love you like a tomato
Marie Giordano
Adult Fiction GIORDAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

A prolific author of nonfiction, children's literature and poetry (Slow Dance on Stilts), Giordano produces a raucous, crowd-pleasing account of a Sicilian immigrant girl who grows up in the Twin Cities after WWII. Leticcia Sapponata Maggiordino-"ChiChi"-and her younger, asthmatic brother, Marco, and grandmother Nonna follow ChiChi's mother from their peasant village to America, where they settle in the rough Italian ghetto of Tar Town. ChiChi devotes herself to keeping her sickly brother alive; the two live by their wits (and fists) in the ethnically diverse Catholic neighborhood, defending each other from gangs who abhor the Italians, while remaining wary of their mother's ferocious temper. Gradually, the family assimilates into American 1950s life: Nonna finds a suitor at the local grocery store; Mamma runs through a succession of hapless married boyfriends who adore her cooking; Marco excels as an artist; and ChiChi assuages her need for affection by milking laughs, becoming the prot?g?e of a pair of aging Hollywood dwarfs who teach her commedia dell'arte. Giordano paints her characters in broad, exaggerated strokes: Mamma sings "O Sole Mio" at restaurants; ChiChi masters the use of the evil eye as vendetta. It's pure corn, but the effect is uproarious. The conclusion has Marco headed with his model wife to Hollywood as ChiChi hits the stage in New York. A sequel seems just around the corner. (July) Forecast: The spunky title is a good match for what lies inside. This is the first volume in a projected trilogy, and should establish a solid fan base for the next two installments. Though some reviewers may pass it by, it's a perfect candidate for handselling. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

This debut novel by the author of many nonfiction, poetry, and children's books follows the early life of ChiChi Maggiordino, who emigrates from Italy to join her father in Minneapolis following World War II. ChiChi's Mamma has been rejected by her husband's family, and the Maggiordinos are forced to endure shocking hardships to make a living before they find acceptance in an Italian neighborhood called Tar Town. Throughout grade school and high school, ChiChi struggles with being different-she is convinced that she can take revenge on people who have harmed her or her family by using the Evil Eye. Eventually, she finds an outlet in acting that brings her success in school plays and, following high school, dancing in night clubs. Before going to New York to pursue an acting career, ChiChi discovers a secret that Mamma has kept from her and her brother, Marco, and realizes that even the Evil Eye cannot always protect her and her family. As Mamma observes, "Life, when you stupid, will show you no mercy." Many of Giordano's characters are inspiring, especially Mamma, giving an added dimension to this fictional memoir of an Italian immigrant family, the first of three books on the Maggiordino family. Recommended for all collections.-David A. Beron?, Univ. of New Hampshire Lib., Durham (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Letticia Sapponata "ChiChi" Maggiordino
Female
Age: Child
Italian American
Her mother is an Italian peasant, her father an American serviceman.

Marco Maggiordino
Male
Age: Child
Asthmatic
Sickly; ChiChi's younger half-brother.



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