My monthly newsletter book reviews can be found on my Reviews of what I’m Reading page. But as I read more than one book a month, I leave other reviews here on my blog. They also get posted to Amazon and Goodreads.
Here’s my review of The Difference by C D Angelo
Finding family-and herself
This charming debut novel takes us along for the rollercoaster ride as Rachel discovers who she really is and what she really wants. On the surface, she knows she should be content. She shares her lovely NY apartment with a near-perfect boyfriend and a perfect cat. She has a great job which she loves. She comes from a happy family – well, bar the snarky brother. And she has a wonderful, fun, outgoing, got your back best friend.
Then Rachel stumbles on a family history search site, and finds she has a new lease of life. Old family mysteries surface around Grandpa’s arrival in the US which she determines to track down.
It’s clear C D’Angelo has done a lot of family history research, and her character’s ups and downs in this regard ring very true. What I loved best however, was when Rachel travels to Italy to find those elusive details which the official records don’t hold. The descriptions of Genoa are lovely, especially the way in which Rachel delights in each new vista and experience. And the discoveries she makes there extend far beyond solving family mysteries.
Yet Rachel is far from happy. She’s restless, quick to be hurt, and bordering on depression. The one thing which really spikes her interest is learning about the Titanic, as this is 2012 and it’s been a 100 years since the sinking. One thing Rachel knows, is that it’s all gotten worse since the death of her beloved Grandpa, who emigrated with his brother and father in the early 20th c from Italy. The family are still very Italian – they eat a lot of gorgeous sounding Italian food, hold to Italian religious traditions and in every way celebrate their heritage. C D’Angelo’s descriptions of family life were very visual, almost like she knows this kind of life very well herself!
A satisfying read with a highly relatable protagonist.
C D Angelo’s second novel, The Visitor, is now available for pre-order here