It’s been fifty years since Antonio Grasso married Maddalena and brought her to America. That was the last time she would ever see her parents, her sisters and brothers — everything she knew and loved in the village of Santa Cecilia, Italy. She locked those memories away, as if Santa Cecilia stopped existing the very day she left. Now, with children and grandchildren of her own, a successful family-run restaurant, and enough daily drama at home, Maddalena sees no need to open the door to the past and let the emotional baggage and unmended rifts of another life spill out.
But Prima, Antonio and Maddalena’s American-born daughter, was raised on the lore of the Old Country. And as she sees her parents aging, she hatches the idea to take the entire family back to Italy — hoping to reunite Maddalena with her estranged sister and let her parents see their homeland one last time. It is an idea that threatens to tear the Grasso family apart, until fate deals them some unwelcome surprises and their journey home becomes a necessary voyage.
Writing with warmth and grace, Chris Castellani delivers a seductive feast for readers. Beautiful Country is an incandescent novel about sacrifice and hope, loss and love, myth and memory.
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