CARISSIMA

Rosanna Chiofalo

From Rosanna Chiofalo comes a sumptuous new novel that sweeps readers from the Italian-American enclave of Astoria, New York, to the stunning vistas of Rome, and introduces two very different women—in a story of friendship, love, and destiny…

In college, Pia Santore dreamed of going to New York and taking the Big Apple by storm with her younger sister Erica. Instead, Pia has arrived in Astoria, Queens, with a prestigious journalism internship at a celebrity magazine…and without Erica. Though the neighborhood has an abundance of appeal—including the delectable confections sold at her Aunt Antoniella’s bakery—the pain of losing Erica a few years ago still feels fresh.

more …

From Rosanna Chiofalo comes a sumptuous new novel that sweeps readers from the Italian-American enclave of Astoria, New York, to the stunning vistas of Rome, and introduces two very different women—in a story of friendship, love, and destiny…

In college, Pia Santore dreamed of going to New York and taking the Big Apple by storm with her younger sister Erica. Instead, Pia has arrived in Astoria, Queens, with a prestigious journalism internship at a celebrity magazine…and without Erica. Though the neighborhood has an abundance of appeal—including the delectable confections sold at her Aunt Antoniella’s bakery—the pain of losing Erica a few years ago still feels fresh.

Pia’s arrival coincides with an unexpected sighting. Italian movie icon Francesca Donata is rumored to be staying nearby, every bit as voluptuous and divaesque as in her heyday. With the help of a handsome local artist with ties to Francesca’s family, Pia convinces the legend to grant her a series of interviews—even traveling to her house in Rome. In the eternal city, Pia begins to unearth the truth behind the star’s fabled romances and tangled past. And here too, where beauty and history mingle in every breathtaking view, and hope shimmers in the Trevi fountain and on the Spanish Steps, Pia gradually learns how to love and when to let go. For when in Rome, you may find your carissima—your dearest one—and you may even find yourself…

Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. She is the author of Bella Fortuna and is currently hard at work writing her next novel. She and her husband live in New York City.

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  • Kensington Books
  • Paperback
  • August 2013
  • 464 Pages
  • 9780758275042

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$15.00

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About Rosanna Chiofalo

Rosanna Chiofalo is a first-generation Italian American whose parents emigrated from Sicily to New York in the early 1960s. After graduating with a BA in English from Stony Brook University, Rosanna knew she wanted to be around books and have a career in writing. For twenty years, she’s worked as a Copywriter and Copy Director for several New York City publishing houses. Currently, she is hard at work writing her second novel.

Praise

“What a glorious novel this is. It’s a celebration of life, love and unlikely friendship through the eyes of two very different women. Yet their similarities bind them together and will endear them to readers long after the last page is turned. Bravissima for Carissima!”Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“Fantastico! I couldn’t put it down!”Lisa Jackson, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

Discussion Questions

Why do you think Francesca is obsessed with being adored by her public? Why do you think the neighbors in Astoria are so fascinated by Francesca, besides the obvious reason of her being a star?

Do you think Signora Tesca was justified in holding a grudge against Francesca for all those years? How much do you think jealousy played a part in her refusal to talk to Francesca for so long?

How was Pia’s relationship with her late sister Erica different than Francesca’s relationship with her sister? How have both of these women been influenced by their sisters?

Compare and contrast Pia and Francesca. How are their dreams and goals similar? How are they different?

We first meet Signora Tesca in Bella Fortuna. What were your first impressions of her in Bella Fortuna? Did your impressions change when you encountered her again in Carissima? If so, how? The same question for Antoniella. How have your initial impressions about her changed from the first book to this one?

Francesca is infatuated with jewelry almost as much as she is with being loved by her fans. Why do you think she loves jewelry so much? Of the gifts that Rocco gives her, which was your favorite?

Do you feel that Gregory’s sudden discovery as an artist goes to his head? Why do you think many people become more self-absorbed when they find fame and/or success in their lives?

Do you feel sorry for Francesca in the beginning of the novel when you learn that her five engagements never resulted in marriage? How has her decision to remain single shaped the person she’s become? Do you feel sorry for her toward the end of the novel? Do you think she’s grown?

Francesca chooses to wear il lutto, the dress for mourning, after her sister dies. This custom has been losing popularity in Italy over the years. What do you think of it? Were you surprised that a glamorous star like Francesca chose to honor this decades-old Italian custom?

How has Pia’s trip to Rome changed her? Do you think she would have had the same insights if she had not gone to Rome?