Reviews for The Second Date:
Jenny Loves to Read - I was particularly pleased with this review b/c Jenny is an Italian-American from South Philly, so to receive her stamp of approval was very gratifying. Jenny Loves to Read is also having a giveaway. So why don't you go over to her blog and have a look. It's one of my favorite blogs.
This book is much more than Sonia having trouble finding a good guy. This book perfectly describes the Italian-American community of first and second generation immigrants. I should know since I am Italian and grew up in such a neighborhood.
My Grandmom had the plastic furniture covers, parties were held at the Knights of Columbus club, and although other ethnicity's were eventually welcomed, it was hoped Italians married Italians. That's just way it was, and it was the same in the Irish neighborhoods too. As the generations pass, these ways of life have changed, and you won't find too many people with kitchens and living rooms in the basements any more. As matter of fact, the feeling of community that is so prevalent in this book, is starting to disappear as well. Times change.
As she did with Searching for Pemberley, Simonsen seamlessly weaves the characters back stories and other fascinating tidbits into the story. Yes, Italian families still have tons of drama and are emotional, but the core value of family is always there. Your family may not approve of your private life, but they will always love you and do anything for you. Most Italians never forget where they came from either, and maybe that's why we still have our festivals and make big pots of gravy and meatballs every Sunday. (Gravy=sauce in my part of town.)
This was a wonderful little story, and the 1980s setting made me laugh at times. Sonia and the rest of the characters in the story are all sweet in their own way. They may even remind you of people you know yourself. Simonsen is quite good at making the reader feel like a part of the story. You tend to forget where you are, or at least I did. Overall this was a fun and engaging read which brought back a lot of memories for me, including flocked wallpaper and crushed velvet furniture. Oh, don't ask. Jen Ritter
Books Like Breathing - I have never really read a book where the image of an Italian-American was positive. From my childhood I have been bombarded with images of the stereotypes of Italian culture. Mafia bosses, goons, murderers, whacking. Not at all what I have grown up with as an Italian-American... The Second Date was completely different. Not only were the people familiar but the behavior, the language, the dialect was all a page from my life. I found myself laughing out loud in many places because it was so familiar. It would be lovely to see a book like this sitting next to Mario Puzo's novels as representations of Italian-American culture. Or better yet, replacing it altogether... The romance was also good. Nick and Sonia were so cute together. But it was the portrayal of Italian-American culture was the shining star in this book for me at least... I was really pleased with this novel. - Grace Lociano
POD Book Reviews and More - Like a good antipasto, The Second Date is colorful, flavorful, and full of tantalizing little nuggets that aren't too filling - an excellent read, in fact, for anyone who grew up Italian-American in the 80's. And if you didn't - well, now you'll know what fun you were missing. - Dianne Salerni
The Book Shelf - The Second Date - Love American Style is a fine blend of blind dates, food, family, friends, and life. Set in the 1980's, it is written in an easy style, has good humor thrown in, contains the characters of overbearing mother, warring aunts, and the close friend. It's a joy to read as we witness Sonia's journey to find true love. The Second Date is a charming book, well-written with sympathetic characters and an all too true story line. There are many shining moments in this book and it is one not to be bypassed in modern romantic reading. - L Anne Carrington
Bestseller's World - This is a lovely book that spans several decades and gives the reader a vivid idea of what it is like to grow up in an Italian-American family. - Pam Reid