Join the Madness

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Enzo's Mamma

This post is long , long over due. Like embarrassingly late and I'm making a point of telling you this because the delay has NOTHING to do with my enjoyment of the book.


I read Wendy Ramer's book, Enzo's Mamma, back in JULY, but it seems I had a lot going on about the time I finished it and I didn't want to do a rushed or haphazard posting so I put it off.  And then I put it off again because well if it was going to be THIS late, it oughta be good, right?  Yeah...the pressure got to  me.  Performance anxiety.


Pitiful excuse.  Shame on me.

For the sake of full disclosure let me say I LIKE Wendy.  I think she's awesomesauce with legs.  I confess I was nervous about reading the book because what would I say if (God forbid) I didn't like it??  I'd gone and blabbed that I bought the book so sooner or later I was going to have to fess up.   So even though this is pathetically late, I DID like the book.  Really.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself.  Here's the blurb from the back:

When American ex-patriot Millie Gossett leaves her home in northern Italy to visit her estranged parents in Miami, she leaves behind a strained marriage and a young son, while anoter woman's hatred towards Jews evolves into a misdirected vendetta. What follows is the saga of a mother's struggle to rebuild her life while never losing hope for a future with her lost son.

Millie's nine year journey leaves its mark, affecting her personal relationships and her spirit.  But as the tides eventually turn, secretes are revealed, an Millie's discoveries could change her fate.  Enzo's Mamma is a story of determination, hope and patience, but are they enough to keep a dream alive?


First let me offer up a disclaimer that I'm still trying to find my review legs over here.  How do I talk about a book, give enough information to intrigue and entice without spoiling any of the twists and turns?


My original plan was to touch on a few things that really jumped out at me.  I even texted myself notes so I could use specific examples when writing this.  Pretty brilliant, huh?


Well, in true Mock Me style, I cleared out my inbox and the MINUTE I hit the delete key I remembered why I hadn't cleared it out before.  Yeah...sometimes I amaze even myself!


So the thing that struck me most about this book was all the little pieces of me i found. If I had known Wendy before she wrote this book, I'd swear she snuck bits of me in there.  For example, when Millie met Carlo--part of her knew she shouldn't get involved but she did anyway.  That used to be sooooooo me! I try to listen to the inner voice nowadays, but it wasn't always the case.  Anyway, I WANTED Millie to get involved with the sexy Italian guy.


Helllooooo?


Sexy.  Italian.  Guy. 

MMMMMMMMMHHHHHHHHHHHMMMMM.  Pity it wasn't a picture book. 


Another part that got me was the fact that Millie didn't let people in very easily.  I don't like this about myself, but this is soooo me. 


Funny thing about recognizing your own quirks in others--it either endears the character to you or it drives you up the wall.  Luckily, I liked Millie.  I wanted her to be happy...but what kind of book would this be if everything went her way?


The first major conflict was a clash of religions.  Millie was Jewish and Carlo was Catholic.  Polar opposites, and yet they made it work -- at least in the beginning.  Things went downhill fast, though, and this issue reared its ugly head again.With really bad consequences this time around.


Then, Carlo and his Mamma did something truly awful.  I won't tell you what it was, but it was bad enough I wanted to hurt them for doing it!  It sent poor Millie into a tailspin.  
And when you think that Millie might recover and might find happiness again, Wendy goes and throws ANOTHER curve ball at Millie.  It made me cry, i so wasn't expecting that one.  Poor Millie.  Just when you think the worst is over, too.  The ending I kinda saw coming but I think that's because it's the way I would have ended things if I had written it...great minds think alike don'tcha know?


So, yes...I sincerely enjoyed the book and I feel sooooo bad about this review taking almost 3 months to see the light of day, that I'm going to pass my book on to one lucky commenter so that they may enjoy the book!  Just type "pick me" in the comments and maybe I will pick you...or maybe I'll use a random number generator.


Oh yeah, to be eligible to win, you gotta be a follower of Wendy's.   Just click this.


EDITED TO ADD:
YES I will ship internationally.  I always forget to add that.  I fully understand why some don't include internationals, but I'm an all-inclusive even if it ends up costing me more.

20 comments:

L'Aussie said...

This sounds like a book of many twists. Makes me curious to see what truly awful thing Carlo and his Mamma did. You can 'pick me' if you like but you probably don't include Aussies in your mail outs. Cheers and thanks for the great review..:)

Theresa Milstein said...

Going back to see family after an absence probably always makes for good reading. We change in that time, yet we're still the children we were, and especially, as our family sees us.

Hot Italian guys don't sound bad either.

Thanks for the review.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Ooooh, I don't know if this would be a book for me. Just reading the premise got a swirling ball of anxiety going in my stomache. I'm not good with mamma/baby seperation stories. They stay with me way too long. But I think your review was great- this sharing idea is just awesome.

Bish Denham said...

Yep I'm kinda with Creepy Query Girl. Besides I have too many MG and YA books to read to add adult fiction to my pile!

Jen said...

I'm with Creepy Query Girl, I'm not sure I'd be able to read it, considering I'm constantly a bundle of stress and anxiety as it is, put it in a book and I'm overwhelmed to the fullest, however it does keep me intrigued to want to consider reading it...

Hmmm... your review has clouded my vision, I'm very intrigued now. Who doesn't love nice Italian Men... I'm with you on the picture books...

DLCurran said...

I'm going to jump on the 'with Creepy Query Girl' train about the anxiety side of things... but as I'm trying to expand my horizons (so to speak) and your review was quite enticing, I might just give this one a try. Even though I usually stick with MG and YA - which I SAY is for research but I actually just like reading it! (Did I just type that outloud?) Uhm... pick me?

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Uh, you had me at Sexy. Italian. Guy. Sounds like a fab read.

And just so you know, I have major issues with anxiety every single week when I write a review. It's normal, but you did a magnificent job.

Cinette said...

Lucky me, I got the hot Italian guy!
I'd love to read about Millie's journey so "PICK ME"!
I'm also trying to work up the courage to do book reviews. How do I explain the impact the story has on me without giving in to spoilers? What if I botch it up, even with the best intentions? These are peoples' babies I'm dealing with here! But you did a great job! Keep up with it!

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Well I'm a huge ball of stress and anxiety most of the time, so I'd read it. :)

Sondrae Bennett said...

Life can get the best of us sometimes. Three months sounds like a lot on paper but rarely is in reality. Very nice review!

Carolyn V. said...

Wow, that sounds like a deep book. So interesting. This was a great review Vicki! =)

LTM said...

great review! Sounds like an interesting book--thanks for sharing! better late than never, right? I mean, you'll never get a crit from me on being LATE. :D

Jolene Perry said...

Sexy Italian guy huh? This is one of those times when I wish they would have put someone on the cover...

roxy said...

I love the title of Wendy's book. It just sounds awesome. Also the premise is interesting. Adding in the Hot Italian Guy, I'm totally sold. Thanks for a great review!

Julie Musil said...

This book sounds amazing and your review was worth the wait

Shannon said...

Looks like another one to add my growing list of "to reads" :)

Thanks for the review!

DL Hammons said...

I think you did an excellent job with the interview! I follow Wendy and I'm so glad you enjoyed her book. Smiles for her.

Jude said...

This sounds great...pick me!

Angela Ackerman said...

I love books that are nice and twisty. You gave an awesome review! :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Jackee said...

Great review, Vicki! :o) And I love Wendy. I haven't read either of her books, but her blog never ceases to entertain.

Thanks for passing the book along as well. Have a great night!