Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: The Witch of Little Italy

The Witch of Little ItalyAuthor: Suzanne Palmieri
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

In Suzanne Palmieri’s charming debut, The Witch of Little Italy, you will be bewitched by the Amore women. When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her.

She has only been back once before when she was ten years old during a wonder-filled summer of sun-drenched beaches, laughter and cartwheels. But everyone remembers that summer except her. Eleanor can’t remember anything from before she left the house on her last day there.

With her past now coming back to her in flashes, she becomes obsessed with recapturing those memories. Aided by her childhood sweetheart, she learns the secrets still haunting her magical family, secrets buried so deep they no longer know how they began. And, in the process, unlocks a mystery over fifty years old—The Day the Amores Died—and reveals, once and for all, a truth that will either heal or shatter the Amore clan.

Sometimes it's the smallest secrets that hold the most hope, the most fun, the most danger.

All the Amore siblings had The Sight in varying degrees, and its fickleness got us into trouble sometimes.

The truth is, time marches on and you have two choices: You move forward, come what may, and you experience all the sour and sweet things that fly at you from around corners, or you sit still. Don't sit still.

She remembered reading somewhere that Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. Eleanor wished there were a hundred ways to say her name. She thought, maybe, if her name was howled from all corners of the world, in a million different voices, that she might explode into a cloud of snow. Light and separate, her parts floating down onto the world in a series of beautiful crystalline moments.

Love should never be a secret and it should never, ever be forgotten.

Witchcraft? I’m there! I have always been enchanted by the supernatural in books, and I especially love stories of young witches who are just coming into their powers. In this charming little debut, we meet Eleanor “Elly” Amore, who is pregnant by an abusive man and left alone by a mother who doesn’t support her daughter’s decisions. Eleanor decides to head back to the Bronx, where her mother was born and raised, to reunite with her estranged aunts, whom her mother claims are “crazy” and tries to persuade Elly to stay away from them. Eleanor decides she has had enough, and decides that she wants a different life for herself and her unborn baby. Upon arriving at her aunt’s home Eleanor begins to witness strange and unexplainable things. Was her mother right? Were her aunts a little “off”? Eleanor had no clue!

The witchcraft was a very nice touch to this wonderful debut. I loved how eccentric Elly’s aunts were and even I, only reading the story, began to feel goosebumps whenever Elly started to witness odd events or tap into her “Sight.” I loved scenes whenever Eleanor started to remember things from her past and started to remember the secrets that her mother had tried to keep hidden from her for so long. Elly was a loveable character that was, just like any of us would be, very curious and eager to know more about the Amore sisters and their ability to practice witchcraft.

This book is written in alternating chapters, which is something that I find myself liking more and more. Some chapters are obviously from Elly’s point of view, and others are from the point of view of her Aunt Itsy, who has not spoken since The Day the Amores Died – a very tragic day in the Amore family history. Itsy’s chapters were probably my favorite because they give you more history and a deeper understanding regarding the Amore family line and the “Sight” that each of them possess. I loved each of Elly’s aunts and found the women to be highly entertaining, especially when they were together!

***A big thank you to the publishers at St. Martin’s Griffin for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***


  1. I haven't heard of this book before but it sounds really different and interesting!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. I also love any kind of books about witchcraft so I will definitely be checking this one out. The Sight is an interesting twist. Glad you liked it!