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Home to Italy
by Peter Pezzelli

Category: Fiction / General
288 pages; ISBN: 0758207689

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kathryn Lively


Everybody called him Peppi, save for Anna, his wife of many decades. Now widowed, it appears at first Peppi does not notice he is being called at all by the numerous relatives and friends concerned for his well-being, as he is too distracted by memories of a fond past. Peppi seems content at first to go back to his garden and garage, and work on his bicycles, but those same memories cloud those avenues of escape. It's enough to prompt the middle-aged Peppi to make a shocking decision, to return to his native Italian village to live, a place he has not seen in over fifty years.

The plan is to take up where he left off when leaving for America; Peppi will reclaim the family land and mill, maybe churn out some polenta, and resume his regular cycling routine with best friend Luca. Unfortunately for Peppi, time has not been kind to the Peppinos' property, and Peppi arrives at Villa San Giuseppe to find the house unlivable, and the mill reduced to rubble. Thankfully, Luca is still around to help Peppi become reacquainted with the country, and offers him a place to stay above his candy factory, which is run by Luca's widowed daughter Lucrezia. At first Lucrezia pays the old man no mind, not atypical of her demeanor as she is all business. Peppi's insistence on making himself useful however, through landscaping the gardens around the factory, capture her attention, and suddenly Lucrezia realizes Peppi is not really an old man.

HOME TO ITALY is a simple yet nicely-written story about starting over, peppered with many light-hearted moments and good humor, a quick read to affirm the spirit of humanity and of ageless love. Peppi is the perfect foil to Lucrezia, who unknowingly kills her with kindness as he comes to realize his own passions have not died with his wife. It is a delight to read and savor.


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