The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner (4 Stars)

9780812998795

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  And quite honestly, I could not put it down!  My household since I started this book:

  • Dinner?  Make a sandwich.
  • Laundry?  You must have something clean in the back of a drawer.
  • Grocery shopping?  We probably have a can of tuna in the pantry.
  • Time to go to bed?  I can stay up just a little longer.

This is the multigenerational saga of the Espositos, who run The House at the Edge of Night, a bar on Castellamare, a speck of an island off the coast of Sicily.  The story of Amedeo, the patriarch, begins with his birth and his abandonment as a newborn.  Growing up an orphan, Amedeo feels he didn’t start living until his arrival on Castellamare in 1914.  Amedeo’s arrival is the night of the festival of Sant’Agata, the island’s patron saint and the heart of the community.  Pina, the beautiful schoolteacher, tells him the story of Sant’Agata, which is the beginning of his collection of stories about Castellamare.  Each section of the book, which chronicles another generation, is introduced by one of the tales from his collection.

There is no major plot line, yet the writing is well-crafted and the story heartwarming.  It is clear, concise and paints such a lustrous picture you can imagine yourself there, sharing a coffee or limoncello and observing all that happens in The House at the Edge of Night.  You will be drawn into the Espositos’ story and share in the love, loss, joy, heartbreak and, maybe, a miracle or two as experienced by the Espositos over nearly a century.

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