Review: The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

The self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village is determined to save his hometown no matter the cost

Vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of Prometto, Italy (population 212) Signor Speranza has a problem: unless he can come up with 70,000 euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water commission will shut off the water to the village and all its residents will be forced to disperse. So in a bid to boost tourism—and revenue—he spreads a harmless rumor that movie star Dante Rinaldi will be filming his next project nearby.

Unfortunately, the plan works a little too well, and soon everyone in town wants to be a part of the fictional film—the village butcher will throw in some money if Speranza can find roles for his fifteen enormous sons, Speranza’s wistfully adrift daughter reveals an unexpected interest in stage makeup, and his hapless assistant Smilzo volunteers a screenplay that’s not so secretly based on his undying love for the film’s leading lady. To his surprise—and considerable consternation, Speranza realizes that the only way to keep up the ruse is to make the movie for real.

As the entire town becomes involved (even the village priest invests!) Signor Speranza starts to think he might be able to pull this off. But what happens when Dante Rinaldi doesn’t show up? Or worse, what if he does?



My Thoughts:

Christine Simon’s debut novel, The Patron Saint of Second Chances, is a vacation in Italy. I was immersed in the tiny town of Prometto, Italy and the lives of the inhabitants. The story is told primarily from the point of view of Signor Spirenza, the self-appointed mayor of the town. 

The pace is leisurely, just like a stay in Prometto would likely be. The story arc is defined by the significant problem that Spirenza is trying to avoid and how a small fib grows and grows to the point of taking over not only the story but the lives of most people in Prometto. The townsfolk are interesting and unique; I wouldn’t go as far as describing them as quirky, but they are none-the-less enjoyable. The kooky antics that Spirenza gets involved in are humorous. The banter between characters is beyond amusing.

From good intentions to happy ending, The Patron Saint of Second Chances is a whimsical story that provided a much need escape from reality. 

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