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Review: The Islands of Divine Music

December 3, 2008


Lazaro and Eleonora Cara immigrated from Italy to New York with their daughter Rosari.  Eleonora battled mental illness and when she was found dead, Lazaro and Rosari decided it was time to start over, so they moved to San Francisco.  There, Rosari married Guiseppe Verbicaro and they had 6 children.  Guiseppe worked hard and they led a fairly normal life.  When Guiseppe was 79, he left Rosari for a young, pregnant prostitute.  Her son, Jesús, would change this family forever.

The Islands of Divine Music by John Addiego is more like a series of short stories (about different members of the family) than a novel, and this concept didn’t really work well for me.  While Addiego’s writing is beautiful, I found parts of the book rambling and redundant and there were so many characters I found myself wondering who I was reading about at times.  The beginning and the end of the book meshed well for me but a lot of the middle just seemed unnecessary.  I received this book as part of the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program.

Here’s some other opinions:

Book Addiction

Booking Mama

Diary of An Eccentric

The Novel World

12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2008 7:29 am

    I really enjoyed this book, but I have a soft spot for family sagas. Sorry you were a bit disappointed by it. Thanks for linking to my review, and I added your link to mine.

  2. December 3, 2008 8:37 am

    I love family sagas, too. Sometimes a family tree or cast of characters helps keep them straight. At times I’ve resorted to writing up my own cast.

  3. December 3, 2008 12:16 pm

    I have heard good things about this book, but I know that not all books are for all people. It was nice to read your review and see a different opinion.

  4. December 3, 2008 12:41 pm

    I almost requested this book, but after reading your review I’m kinda glad I didn’t. (I’m not that into short stories and I have issues with books with too many characters too!)

  5. December 3, 2008 1:13 pm

    You must admit, the cover art is gorgeous!

  6. December 3, 2008 1:28 pm

    I don’t care for anything that resembles a short story. I find them too hard to get into.

  7. December 3, 2008 2:17 pm

    Sorry you were disappointed by this one Kathy. I do really like the cover though.

  8. December 3, 2008 5:00 pm

    Hmm…I think I’ll pass on this one

  9. December 3, 2008 9:41 pm

    Interesting. I wonder what Jesus does to change the family forever. Clever cliffhanger.

  10. December 4, 2008 8:39 am

    Sorry this one didn’t quite do it for you, Kathy. I do love family sagas, and the cover alone would entice me to read this one, so maybe one of these days I’ll give it a try.

  11. December 4, 2008 9:20 am

    I do enjoy linked short stories – Ghostwritten by David Mitchell is a favorite of mine.

  12. rantsandreads permalink
    December 16, 2008 4:22 pm

    Thanks for linking to my review! I couldn’t get into this book either. It was too much of “and this happened, and then this happened” and it was too much all at once.

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