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In a Glass House [Paperback]

Nino Ricci
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Book Description

Sept. 17 1999
After a harrowing voyage from Italy, during which his mother died, seven-year-old Vittorio arrives in Canada with his newborn half-sister, and is reunited with his estranged father, a dark, isolated, and angry figure he hardly knows. The story that follows spans two decades of Vittorio’s life within an immigrant Italian farming community in Southwestern Ontario, through his university years, and then into Africa where he goes to teach. At the centre of Vittorio’s existence is his strained relationship with his father and with his half-sister, Rita. In a Glass House is a haunting tale about perseverance and longed-for redemption. Ricci juxtaposes the intimate, complex world of family, with “its shadowy intricate web of alliances,” against the dislocations of the immigrant experience. The result is a richly textured and memorable novel.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to the well-received The Book of Saints again follows the Innocente family, here having left Italy to settle in a Canadian farming community called Mersea on the shores of Lake Erie. Unlike the previous novel, however, this one has only mixed success. The tale is nicely wrought and lovingly written, but it suffers from a thin plot and a morass of self-analysis from its narrator, Vittorio. In 1961, when the novel opens, Vittorio is seven; he and his illegitimate half-sister, Rita, have joined Vittorio's moody father, a greenhouse keeper, who hates the infant Rita because she reminds him of his faithless wife. Vittorio hopes desperately to make a connection with his father, who only withdraws further, living at such a remove from his surroundings that he rarely speaks even to his children. Vittorio's attempts to connect elsewhere, either in Mersea's Italian community or in the surrounding Canadian culture, meet with rejection or misunderstanding. Yet he slowly navigates through the elements of his life, gaining perspective, finding a girlfriend, attending college and traveling to Africa. Rita finally escapes from the family with an awful ruse, better left unrevealed. In places, Ricci tells his tale beautifully, but he seems to have fallen under the spell of his own prose, which, like the protagonist, turns in upon itself a little too deeply.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In this sequel to The Book of the Saints (LJ 5/1/91), young Vittorio Innocente leaves Italy and his dead mother to join his estranged father in Canada. But the shame of his mother's adulterous affair and subsequent death in childbirth poisons life with his embittered father. Emotions explode when his Aunt Theresa arrives with his baby half-sister, Rita, but then like the vegetables they labor to grow under acres of glass in a hostile climate, the Innocentes struggle to fashion a family from the wreckage of dashed hopes. Caught between his father's dark fury and his aloof half-sister, Vittorio struggles to escape the hothouse environment of an immigrant community isolated by custom and language. Ricci adroitly portrays the developing awareness of a child growing into adulthood whose emotional scars barely heal before they are ripped open by fresh revelations. Through Vittorio's brooding sensitivity, Ricci explores what binds these volatile characters into a family as well as what ultimately drives them apart. Recommended for all collections.?Paul E. Hutchison, Bellefonte, Pa.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ricci produces nothing but MASTERPIECES Sept. 5 1999
Format:Paperback
Unlike Lives of the Saints and Where She Has Gone, a longer period of Vittorio's life is portrayed in this book. He's 7 in the begginning and in his mid-twenties in the end. I can't think of another book that exposes the importance of family ties as much as this one. Everyone must read it! It's a masterpiece! There may be better trilogies than that of Ricci's, but I'm afraid I haven't read them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Left me thinking about family ties. Aug. 9 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
More than with "The Book of Saints," this book has gotten me thinking about the ties of family and their importance. Perhaps because I found it to be a sadder book, I didn't enjoy reading it as much as "Saints," but feel it will stay with me longer.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coming of age novel. Aug. 5 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Ricci continues to draw us into the life of young Vittorio Innocente through his colorful descriptions. The novel is not as riveting as The Lives of The Saints, but Ricci does paint an excellent picture of the italian immigrant mentality. An excellent novel, it touches on the importance of family as well as the pains and pleasures of adolescence and self-discovery.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ricci produces nothing but MASTERPIECES Sept. 5 1999
By darkwish99@yahoo.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Unlike Lives of the Saints and Where She Has Gone, a longer period of Vittorio's life is portrayed in this book. He's 7 in the begginning and in his mid-twenties in the end. I can't think of another book that exposes the importance of family ties as much as this one. Everyone must read it! It's a masterpiece! There may be better trilogies than that of Ricci's, but I'm afraid I haven't read them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coming of age novel. Aug. 5 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ricci continues to draw us into the life of young Vittorio Innocente through his colorful descriptions. The novel is not as riveting as The Lives of The Saints, but Ricci does paint an excellent picture of the italian immigrant mentality. An excellent novel, it touches on the importance of family as well as the pains and pleasures of adolescence and self-discovery.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Left me thinking about family ties. Aug. 9 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
More than with "The Book of Saints," this book has gotten me thinking about the ties of family and their importance. Perhaps because I found it to be a sadder book, I didn't enjoy reading it as much as "Saints," but feel it will stay with me longer.
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