Angel Lupo grew up in a traditional Italian home — an exclusive club where Mama’s word was everything ... and where nice girls saved themselves for marriage. All Angel wanted was to be movie-star blond, change her name, and get as much attention as her prettier older sister Lina.
Now Angel is nearing thirty, penning Catholic greeting cards for a living, and still jealous of her sister, who has a house in the suburbs, two kids, and a husband who loves her. So Angel does the next best thing: She answers a personal ad.
Dirk Diederhoff is blond, teaches at Vassar, and is definitely not Italian. Nor is he the thrill-a-minute lover and soul mate Angel prays for. But as Lina, recklessly embarked on an affair of her own, would tell her: There are no perfect tens out there — only men who want you to talk to them in Italian during sex.
The award-winning author of Pink Slip gets the rituals and rhythms of domestic life just right in Sometimes I Dream in Italian, a bittersweet comedy about sisters, lovers, and a family that doesn’t quite translate.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of eBook: Sometimes I Dream in Italian|
|Release Date: 12-10-2008|
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Sometimes I Dream in Italian
He came out of the back, his apron bloody. The butcher Mr. Ribalta had the biggest belly I had ever seen. When he leaned into the case to grab a handful of hamburger or lop off a rope of sausage, his stomach grazed the meat. I wanted to poke his fat, to see if my finger would sink into it like pizza dough, or press my ear against him, to hear his insides sloshing and grumbling. But I hung back from the meat counter until he crooked a plump finger and beckoned me forward.
“Oh, Swiss Girl,” he called. “Yo-do-lo-do-lo-do-lay.”
I always eyed his Swiss cheese. I wanted to take a chunk of it home and slip it between a wedge of sharp pepperoni and a slice of salty prosciutto on a seeded roll. But Mama refused to buy it. “I don’t pay good money for holes,” she said. She frowned when Ribalta reached into the case to cut me a sliver.
People said Ribalta had a big heart, but Mama was convinced his heart longed for only one thing: to turn her into a big spender. Every Saturday morning before we left the house for the market, she armed herself with a black plastic wallet stamped with a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, a shopping list, and a green pencil stub she had pocketed after playing miniature golf at Palisades Park. Since my sister, Lina, thought she was too old for such outings, Mama took me — a mere nine-year-old who didn’t yet know how to protest — as a witness. I was supposed to make sure Ribalta didn’t try any monkey business, like doubling the wax paper or pressing his thumb down on the scale. Although Mama had patronized Ribalta for years, she still didn’t trust him. “It’s not like he’s f...