I enjoyed hearing this book immensely. This is an UNABRIDGED reading so you get the complete story. If you love things Italian and in particular Tuscany then you will enjoy hearing this book.
In the small Tuscan village of Sant'Angelo D'Asso, the waterworks man, Renato Tizzoni, comes face to face with a bona-fide dose of mid-life crisis: he has lost his taste for life. His surrogate father and mentor has just died, and his teenaged daughter is wrapped up in her boyfriend. And, although he still loves and cherishes his wife, even his 20-year old marriage seems to have lost its luster. Worst of all, the town where he has lived all his days is slated to become a reservoir when the nearby river is dammed up to follow a government plan for irrigating local soil.
Renato longs deeply for renewal and, despite the fact that he is not a religious man, interprets a series of strange dreams featuring a floating hand that points him to treasure as a call to change his luck. Renato decides that he must travel to Rome, to the Vatican City, to shake hands with the pope while touching his behind with his other hand, thereby initiating a chain reaction leading to a stroke of luck, or "stroke of ass" ("colpo di culo" in Italian slang). Eventually, as word of his intentions gets out, almost the entire village becomes invested in the outcome of his trip.
As he readies himself for this life-altering journey, Renato collects the villagers' words of wisdom on a slip of paper that he carries in his back pocket and intends to present to the pope. As the story moves leisurely toward an anticipated resolution, Renato realizes that many of the people he knows and loves need a change of luck as much as he does.
"Renato's Luck" by Jeff Shapiro is a sweet and engaging tale, without being shallow in the least. Shapiro, a longtime American resident of Tuscany, is writing in English in his debut novel, but his phrasing and inflection that give the narrative and dialogue a flavor that is distinctly, and charmingly, Italian. His descriptions of the picturesque quaintness of the town and its inhabitants are endlessly enchanting, and the cast of interesting secondary characters - including Duncan, Renato's American friend, and Il Piccino, the midget who runs the newspaper stand - are equally fascinating. Readers will find themselves irresistibly drawn into the story, eagerly waiting to discover how the fates of the townspeople will change with Renato's "stroke of luck."
-Sharon Galligar Chance
This is a nice love story that involves the integrity of the characters involved. Taking place in Tuscany, Italy, the landscape is as rich as the characters. Very European flavor. Light reading, yet enriching. Well written. I enjoyed it and have passed it on to many of my friends who enjoyed it as well! Hardcover, in great condition. Susan
Predictable, but a fun read, great characters.