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Summer in Italy When he finds a World War II letter hidden among his dead father's possessions, Joey recalls a long-lost cousin and flies to Italy determined to locate him. However, he never planned on Jeanette, a tall, stunning photographer with a tortuous laugh and a fondness for perfection. A season away from the wedding of her dreams, Jeanette agrees to tag along in a yellow Mini Cooper as Joey searches for his cousin. With lemons, cigars, and spiders along for the ride, a series of doomed misadventures sweeps them across southern Italy, changing them in ways they never imagined. But will their summer in Italy be enough to find the something they never knew was missing?
“Chiba tells a rich family saga that sheds light on the experiences of an extended Italian-American family. . . Fun Italian tidbits brighten the dialogue and help Chiba illustrate the pleasures and difficulties of language learning. When Joey heads to the Old Country to find a long-lost cousin, all the other relatives are skeptical. Indeed, Joey finds much more than he’s looking for, taking his readers with him along the way. Chiba’s story is a reflection on how the past stays with us no matter how much we try to forget it. By confronting that very past, we unlock keys to our heart that we didn’t know we had.” D.R. Ransdell, author of Island Casualty and Mariachi Murder