Friday, May 10, 2024

#bookreview of R&R: A Feast of Words by Maria Giuseppa

R&R: A Feast of Words
By: Maria Giuseppa
Publisher: Christopher Whisperings
Publication Date: May 10, 2024
ISBN: 979-8988464327
Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott
Review Date: March 14, 2024
Debut author Maria Giuseppa has created a lengthy, languorous letter exchange between a man and a woman trapped in their separate lairs during the Covid era in R&R: A Feast of Words.
The two letter writers are of Italian descent, she named Rachelina and called Rachi by her correspondent, and he is Raffaele, whom she addresses as Raffi. The two have been acquaintances since their youth, he a close friend of her now deceased husband Matt, and she an observer of his several failed marriages. R and R write to each other often, beginning with conventional paper texts and later by email. In their communications it becomes readily apparent that they are closely aligned in thought and feeling, both revealing knowledge and understanding of the other that seems to surge past mere friendship. As close friends who need each other’s contact and approval, they have a further need – to express their moods both clearly and subtly through mutually recalled memories and current life interests. One such interest is their enjoyment of fine food; he is an experienced taster, and she is a well-acknowledged home-based chef. This commonality inspires him to suggest a collaboration on a recipe book, to which Rachi happily agrees. Then the idea takes a stronger hold, as they decide to travel together to Portugal and Italy to sample the foods whose flavors they so appreciate. Emailing allows for faster, tighter connection - but then comes news from Rachi that may make old resentments spoil their seemingly positive partnership.

Giuseppa is a native Italian who has made the United States her home for many years, pursuing various career paths and marriage to “an amazing man” with whom she has “three awesome children.” Looking back and meshing her own life experiences with those of her central characters in this lively letter exchange, she proves her talents as a wordsmith as well as her intellectual and empathic strengths as an artist who can look inside the people she depicts and bring their smallest proclivities and emotions to light. Readers will find themselves enwrapped in the plot lines that emerge as they absorb the perspectives of Rachi and Raffi, recalling too the rigors of the Covid restrictions and the introspection that it evinced for many stuck in limited lifestyles. Once the book’s climax has been reached – in the final email exchange – Giuseppa’s audience will be hoping for further novel works from this imaginative creator.
Quill says: The ins, outs, ups, and downs of a relationship are depicted with loving care by Maria Giuseppa in this epistolary portrait of two romantic souls discovering themselves in the words of each other.
For more information about R&R: A Feast of Words, please visit the author's website at:

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