Ristorante Paradiso (EN)

ONO Natsume

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A Charming Tale Of A Mother/daughter Reunion, A Burgeoning Romance, And A Little Restaurant In Rome. In Exchange For Playing The Daughter Of An Old Friend, Olga Offers Nicoletta A Place To Live And An Apprenticeship At The Restaurant. Nicoletta Fits In Well Among The Vibrant Personalities At Casetta Dell’orso. She Gets Along Particularly Well With The Kindly Headwaiter, Claudio, A Divorced Man Who, After Years, Has Still Never Taken Off His Wedding Ring. As Nicoletta’s Feelings For Claudio Become Complicated, She Finds A Sympathetic Ear In Olga, Leading The Estranged Pair To Form A Friendship Neither Expected. But As They Grow Closer, The Pressure Exerted By The Secret They Share Becomes Too Much To Bear.

publishers Weekly

telling The Story Of Nicoletta, A Young Girl Seeking Out The Mother Who Left Her As A Child, Ristorante Paradiso Exemplifies The Best And Worst Elements Of The Slice-of-life Genre. The Protagonist’s Mother, Olga, Is Spirited Off To Rome To Marry Her Dream Man, Lorenzo, Whom She Believes Would Have Refused Her Had She Revealed The Existence Of Her Child. Fifteen Years Later, The Adult Nicoletta Plans To Expose Her Mother By Telling Lorenzo The Truth. However, It Would Be A Mistake To Think That Ono Is Actually Interested In Such Weighty Issues As Child Abandonment And Familial Loyalty. Instead, Readers Are In For A Shallow Soap Opera Focused On Curiously Identical-looking Waiters And The Women Who Pine For Them. Nicoletta Herself At The End Of The Story Sums Up The Unbelievably Cheap Development And Resolution Of The Family Drama With One Perfect Descriptor: Anticlimactic. On The Plus Side, For Those Who Can Get Over The Lack Of Depth And Realism, The Story Offers Cute Subplots For Anyone Who Has Imagined What Sort Of Drama May Await In The Back Rooms Of Italian Restaurants. (mar.)

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