Cecilia Gragnani narrates this wrenching thirty-year saga with spirit and intensity. It focuses on family, the rise of Mussolini and fascism, and the devastation of WWII. Though the story is liberally sprinkled with Italian words and phrases (some not translated), Gragnani makes everything clear just by her intelligent interpretations. Maria marries Achille, and they settle in an Italian village to raise a family and begin a small business. Maria believes the Madonna is her special friend, and she's been praying to her since childhood. Gragnani employs a lilting voice overall but a decisive tone when the Madonna speaks to Maria. Her voice for Maria is sometimes shrill, but her lively delivery creates a flesh-and-blood woman. Gragnani's strong reading enhances the author's top-notch storytelling. S.J.H. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2018]
Trade Ed. Random House Audio 2018
DD ISBN 9780525528500 $22.50
Library Ed. Books on Tape 2018
DD ISBN 9780525528517 $95.00
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