An Italian Wife

An Italian Wife

by Ann Hood


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From the best-selling author of The Obituary Writer, the stirring multigenerational story of an Italian-American family.

An Italian Wife is the extraordinary story of Josephine Rimaldi—her joys, sorrows, and passions, spanning more than seven decades. The novel begins in turn-of-the-century Italy, when fourteen-year-old Josephine, sheltered and naive, is forced into an arranged marriage to a man she doesn't know or love who is about to depart for America, where she later joins him. Bound by tradition, Josephine gives birth to seven children. The last, Valentina, is conceived in passion, born in secret, and given up for adoption.

Josephine spends the rest of her life searching for her lost child, keeping her secret even as her other children go off to war, get married, and make their own mistakes. Her son suffers in World War One. One daughter struggles to assimilate in the new world of the 1950s American suburbs, while another, stranded in England, grieves for a lover lost in World War Two. Her granddaughters experiment with the sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll in the 1970s. Poignant, sensual, and deeply felt, An Italian Wife is a sweeping and evocative portrait of a family bound by love and heartbreak.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594677505
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/03/2015
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Ann Hood is the author of eight previous books, including the best-selling memoir Comfort: A Journey Through
Grief and best-selling novels The Book That Matters Most and The Knitting Circle. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

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An Italian Wife 2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could have been a great family history but instead a series of short stories. Poor character development
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the first half of the book, hoping it would get better, but it never did. There was no character development or plot continuity. Boring, depressing, and not worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book frustrating. The beginning chapters were great and i was enjoying the immigrant story but then the story jumped years ahead and it was confusing trying to figure out which family member you were reading about and how they were related to everyone else. I found it very frustrating that just as i was invested in one storyline or family member then it was over and on to the next chapter to begin again with another new story and character. And way too much sex. I was expecting a story about an Italian imigrant and her family but it felt like it turned into a cheap sex novel. Not worth the money!
TinkSaysBoo More than 1 year ago
I'll start with saying this book had something that had potential to be good. The book is essentially a book of short stories. The first one being about Josephine, a young woman from Italy in 1889 on her wedding day. She is about to enter an arranged marriage and will move to America after the wedding. The story appears alright until her mother talks to her about sex in the most uncomfortable way possible. There are dogs and inapproriate verbs such as "wiggle" involved. The first part of the book goes on to tell about her early life with her husband, living in America as an immigrant, and the birth of her seven children. You also get introduced to the first of many awkward sex scenes. Unfortunately, I think the author tries too hard to be erotic, and they all end up being as uncomfortable as the mother using dogs to educate her daughter about sex in the beginning. Most of Josephine's offsprings end up being annoyingly naive when it comes to sex and the opposite sex, including herself. I almost wish there was a camera filming me as a I listened to these sex scenes (I got through this book via audiobook).  The rest of the book tells a story from Josephine's children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren's point of view. This is the concept that could have potentially been good. I like the idea of hearing the stories of different generations starting with the member that moved to America at the turn of the century. I especially liked the story about her granddaughter who despised being Italian and did everything in her power to be "American". Her son on the other hand wanted to embrace being Italian. Sadly, there was nothing tying these stories together besides the fact that they were related to Josephine. The author also made no attempt to help you get to know the characters. It was really hard to understand anyone's motives. If I was the editor, I would of told the author to get rid of the stories about the son, grandson, the 15 year old great granddaughter, and the baby Josephine gave up at birth (which, by the way, was the biggest "what the hell is the point of this?" story) and call the book, "The Italian Wives." It would of at least given the book some kind of point.  To wrap up this clumsy book, she goes back to the point of view Josephine during her dying days. Instead of ending it with a sense of calm or happiness or anything a good book should make you feel, she rehashes events from the very beginning of the book that you have long forgotten and closed the book making you feel sad, kind of angry and like you just wasted your time. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this book; this is the first review I've ever given to Barnes and Noble. After reading a few books by Ann Hood, which I liked very much, I looked forward to this new book. As another reviewer wrote, about poor character development, I agree and want to add 'poor characters' period!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just an awful book.
Author_Marion_Marchetto More than 1 year ago
When one lives to the age of 100, there are many secrets that one keeps. This is true of Josephine Rimaldi, the central character of The Italian Wife. The story chronicles Josephine’s life as she follows her husband to America, raises her children (giving one up for adoption in the process), and watches her grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow. The reader is allowed inside Josephine’s mind as she moves through the years, always watching and waiting for the return of those she loved and lost. The story seemed disjointed as the author made each chapter (or vignette) a stand-alone story without any segues between the chapters. Josephine goes from being the central character at the start of the novel to being almost a footnote at the very end. The descriptions of Italian daily live seemed authentic to me as they changed through the decades. I especially enjoyed the era of the 1970s through the present day as they brought back some vivid memories for me – but this part of the book was the only thing I truly enjoyed. Unless you’re a fan of Ann Hood’s other books, don’t waste your time on this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago