Among the Zinnias

By Linda Fagioli-Katsiotas

 

Book Blurb

Come and travel between the Italian island of Incompresso and the small American town of Robin’s Nest. Experience passion, sorrow, laughter and love in a tale that will hold your heart and spark your desire to know what is happening . . . Among the Zinnias!

Eighty-five-year-old Giovanna Boeri awaits the return of her daughter, Angelina, from America. She cannot understand why Angelina has left their small island when it contains everything anyone would ever want. Giovanna is struggling to care for her ailing husband who is beset by memories of war and murder, one he, himself, has committed but understands too late that it’s his grandson, Rocco, who will pay the price.

As Giovanna comes to terms with her husband’s deteriorating condition, she realizes she can no longer count on him to make decisions, nor can she wait for her own fate to be decided by Angelina.

Angelina, with her husband, Pasquale, is struggling in Robin’s Nest to maintain a pizzeria. Their son, Rocco, has just been released from an Italian prison after having served ten years. Rather than have him return to their small island, they’ve bought the pizzeria in hopes of giving Rocco a new beginning in a new location. The pizzeria is supposed to be their catalyst to a happy life.

But life rarely follows one’s expectations . . .

My Review

The stage is set as Giovanna Boeri watches her daughter Angelina sail from her island home in Italy and return to New Jersey to be with her husband and children. Angelina is torn between remaining with her aging parents and returning to the home she has made in America. The story that follows will keep you turning the pages.

Many personalities were introduced making the characters and their relationships believable.  I could relate to Giovanna and the difficulty of watching her child leave for a distant place.  Her relationship with her husband reminded me of my own grandparents.  Angelina was in a challenging place emotionally, and  I felt a lot of empathy for her as her roles of parent, wife, and daughter sometimes were in conflict, but I loved the way she was able to balance them. From the beginning, Rocco seemed to be a seedy character, and I took an immediate dislike to him, though, by the end of the book, I thought he had redeemed himself.

I’d have liked to have seen the characters of Giovanna, Angelina, and Gina developed a bit more in the beginning. Switching from one to another was confusing until I read enough of the book to get a firm grasp on each.

The author created a storyline that in some form or another has been played out by all those who have immigrated to another country – the quest for acceptance, the heartache of leaving family, finding their niche in their new home, and genuine desire to make it all work.

Once again, Linda Fagioli-Katsiotas has given us an enjoyable, multifaceted story crossing two nationalities to savor.  I would definitely recommend this to any reader who enjoys stories of multi-generational families of another culture.

I was gifted this book in return for my honest review.

About the Author

Linda Fagioli-Katsiotas lives on Long Island with her husband, Nick.  She teaches English to newly immigrated English language learners at her local public school. She is also a speech pathologist working with adults who have brain injury. Although Among the Zinnias was inspired by these two roles, it remains a work of fiction. (Taken from Among the Zinnias)

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Anna

By Fia Essen

 

Book Blurb

Anna by Fia EssenRadical life changes and too much champagne at high altitude can take a girl to the most interesting places. Anna’s journey is just getting started when she takes a chance on a new friendship of the handsome male variety and winds up in a tiny village in Crete. It turns out she’s not the only one who has that idea.

Author’s Description

Anna thought she knew exactly where her life was heading. She was wrong. After ten years of climbing her way up the stressful corporate ladder at Milton International, her dream of one day occupying her boss’ corner office has been ripped from her thanks to a round of downsizing. Her boyfriend of five years has dumped her because he didn’t think she shared his vision of their “ideal future” together. In addition to losing her job and boyfriend, she comes to the conclusion she might be losing her mind too. A sane person wouldn’t follow a perfect stranger they meet on a plane to a tiny village no one has heard of on a Greek island, would they? The stranger in question is an irresistibly handsome Englishman with a sympathetic ear. But that’s no excuse to follow him to the place he calls his home and practically move in with him, is it?

My Review

Have you ever read a book that you liked so much from the beginning, you actually felt you were part of the story? A book where you could visualize the area, the rooms? Were you ever so engrossed you in the story, you didn’t realize you were at the end until you read the last word? That is exactly what Anna was to me.

Fia Essen wove a story that was alive with delightful characters and a captivating plot. The location?  Who wouldn’t fall in love with the charismatic Crete, as so vividly described in the book? I loved the way the characters dropped into Anna’s life and immediately became indispensable to the rest of the story.

Would I recommend Anna by Fia Essen? Absolutely! It is the perfect read for a summer day on the porch, at the pool, or at the beach.  5 Stars

About the AuthorFia Essen

Fia Essen has been an expat since childhood. She grew up in the stables of the Middle East and Southeast Asia, surrounded by horses, philandering polo players, and the occasional Boa Constrictor. Currently, she lives in Athens, Greece with her Yorkie.

She has always had an active imagination and has a tendency to float off into a world of her own. While she doesn’t put a terrible amount of stock into astrology, apparently, this trait of hers is textbook Pisces.

Growing up, if Fia wasn’t on horseback, she had her nose in a book. She didn’t read books, she lived them. Characters in novels became her best friends. And ultimately she started creating her own.

 

Illustrator/Cover Artist: Michelle Crocker

Type of Book: Anna is available in Kindle format and paperback.

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Pub Date: May 26, 2015

Page Count: 289

Word Count: 90 thousand

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit

Website

http://www.fiaessen.com

Social Media Links

Twitter Handle – @FiaEssen

Sample Chapter

 The Amazon Kindle Look Inside Feature – http://www.amazon.com/Anna-Fia-Essen-ebook/dp/B00YCRZAGG/

Where to Buy: 

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

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