Saint John Don Bosco:

"Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup?"

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Penny From Heaven by Jennifer Holm

My tween laughed aloud when reading this book, so I knew I had to try it.

If you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you have a good grasp of this plot already. It’s loosely- based on stories descending from the Italian family of the author. Apparently, Italians and Greeks have a lot in common. The food, the family,and the chaotic commotion are a big part of the main character, Penny’s, life. She lives with her mother’s family after her father died when she was a baby. Her father’s big, Catholic, Italian family, resides about a block away from her quiet, culinary-challenged, Methodist mother’s family, and Peggy spends her summer bouncing between the two.

Peggy’s mother and father had a true love match; a blessing since the families had difficulty getting along. Penny’s Italian family dotes on her and tries to make up for the loss of her father which adds to the tension with her Mom’s family who dote on her in their own way. Penny is aware her relatives have a conflict, but her her personal conflict begins when her mother starts dating the milkman.

The book covers interesting tidbits of history: the polio epidemic, baseball, and the internment of Italians in America during the war. Overall, it is a funny, serious, light, and rollicking good story.



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