It’s time for a change of pace. As part of a Blog Tour organized by Italy Book Tours, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing A Song for Bellafortuna by Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco.
Book Description (from Amazon):
For years, the beautiful, yet secluded, hilltop village of Bellafortuna, Sicily, was a great producer of wine and olive oil. The entire village prospered. However, after the arrival of the Vasaio family, production dwindles and the villagers soon find themselves in crushing debt to the Vasaios. Only one family in the village remains outside the control of the Vasaios, but the reason haunts Antonio Sanguinetti every day of his life. Antonio is determined to erase this legacy by offering financial and emotional support to his fellow villagers. He introduces them to the choral song from Verdi’s opera, Nabucco, which becomes the rallying cry for the villagers and offers them hope for a better life.
When Antonio’s only son, Giuseppe, discovers his family’s past, he becomes determined to take on the Vasaios and remove them from power. Led by the young Giuseppe, a plan is hatched that could result in either complete freedom for the villagers, or if it fails, forever solidifying the Vasaios’ control. Find out what happens in A Song for Bellafortuna, a sweeping epic historical fiction tale of love, drama, sacrifice, and redemption, set among the beautiful landscape of Sicily.
Without a doubt, my decision to read this book was prompted in part by its gorgeous cover and the fact that my paternal grandfather (by chance, also named Giuseppe) grew up in a small village in Southern Italy.
In A Song for Bellafortuna, the author’s paints a vivid picture of a picturesque hilltop village surrounded by olive groves and vineyards. The charm of a time when horse carts were the mode of transportation shined through.
From the opening pages of the story, I was drawn into young Giuseppe Sanguinetti’s story. Even as a young boy he shows compassion for the less fortunate. Giuseppe is quick to recognize the injustice of the Vasaio family’s control over the villagers. The residents of Bellafortuna are decent, hard-working people, yet many live in squalor. An idealist at heart, Giuseppe is determined to find a way to bring about change.
As a music lover, I could relate to Giuseppe’s anguish when faced with the possibility of how his actions might affect his fellow villagers. To quote John Paul Richter, “Music is moonlight in the gloomy night of life.” For the villagers, music is more than entertainment, it gives them hope and the strength to go on.
The author has great way of telling a story. The historical events of the time period and the fictional aspects of the story are woven together well, though some suspension of disbelief is required on the part of the reader. The book is very well written, although I do think that some of the descriptive passages could be more concise.
A Song for Bellafortuna was a very enjoyable read that ends on a positive note. Music can inspire change. As I turned those final pages, I was sorry to see Giuseppe’s story come to an end.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of this blog tour. This has not affected the content of my review in any way.
A Song for Bellafortuna is available on Amazon (Ebook, Paperback, AudioBook). Check out the book trailer.
Award winning and bestselling author, Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco, lives in New Orleans.
His first novel, Tempesta’s Dream – A Story of Love, Friendship and Opera, became an Amazon bestselling novel and was awarded the 2014 Pinnacle Achievement Award in Historical Fiction. Amazon also has named his book as a Top Rated Novel in Italian Historical Fiction.
His most recent novel, A Song for Bellafortuna, was shortlisted in the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Competition. He is an estate planning attorney in New Orleans, where he lives with his wife and two children.
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