by Adriana Trigiani
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In the late 1800s, the residents of a small village in the Bari region of Italy, on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, made a mass migration to the promised land: America. They settled in Roseto, Pennsylvania, and re-created their former lives in their new home-town to the very last detail of who lived next door to whom. The hardworking Castellucas work the land outside Roseto. Nella, eighteen, aspires to a genteel life "in town," far from the rigours of farm life. But Nella's dreams of making her own fortune shift when she meets and falls in love with Renato Lanzara, a wordly, handsome, devil-may-care poet who has a way with words that makes him irresistible. Their friendship ignites into a passionate affair that Nella is certain will lead to marriage. When he disappears without explanation, Nella is left with a shattered heart. Five years later, Renato's sudden return to Roseto, just one week before Nella's wedding, leaves her and all the townsfolk shaken. For although Renato has chosen a path very different from Nella's own, they are fated to live together, in the same town, for the rest of their lives.
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