Category Archives: Varina Palladino

Audio Clip~Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story

First few pages of Varina, read by Eva Kaminksy on Sound Cloud.

Huzzah! So happy and proud.

(Don’t be confused–the sample goes right into Berenstain Bears.)


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25% off Pre-Order!

Barns & Noble is doing a 25% off all pre-orders made between January 25 and 27. That’s hard copy, audio, and digital! Of course, Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story is included. Huzzah!

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Digital Excerpt: Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story

Click on this link to read the first two chapters of Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story.

The release is in nineteen days. Nineteen. Eeep!


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Booklist (Starred Review!)

Booklist Review

Passions run high in the Palladino household. Seventy-year-old Varina’s millennial children, sons Dante and Davide and daughter Donatello, can go from zero to 60 squabbling over memories of idiotic pranks played as toddlers but will just as easily rally with mutual support when true trouble strikes. Varina’s 92-year-old mother, Sylvia, is an equal handful, frail one minute, feisty the next. Add the unending responsibility of running the popular Italian deli she started with her late husband, and Varina finds she is in serious need of a vacation. A chance encounter with a woman at the travel agency rewards Varina with both the traveling companion and best friend she has long been looking for. But with a large, messy family like Varina’s, something is bound to conspire to keep her from her trip, things like an internet-dating scheme cooked up by Sylvia and Donatello to activate Varina’s non-existent love life or Donatello’s increasingly complicated one. No region of the country has a lock on Italian culture, but DeFino’s zesty homage to the northern New Jersey microcosm delights with its universality and specificity. What was it Tolstoy said about families? Make that famiglias, and the Palladino clan more than qualifies.— Carol Haggas

Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story
By Terry-Lynne DeFino.
Feb. 2023. 416p. Morrow, $27.99 (9780063228436); e-book (9780063228450).
REVIEW. First published January 1, 2023 (Booklist).


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Library Journal Review

This is part of the lead in that makes an author’s heart pound! In a good way. Thankfully! Library Journal reviewed Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story.

DeFino, Terri-Lynne.

Varina Palladino’s Jersey Italian Love Story.

Morrow. Feb. 2023. 416p. ISBN 9780063228436. $27.99. F

It’s been a few years since DeFino’s The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (and Their Muses), but it was worth the wait for this story of a big, boisterous Italian family that offers a lesson in New Jersey–inflected Italian. The family includes a couple of sons, their wives, exes, and kids; Donatella’s best friend, a gay man abandoned by his Italian family and taken in by hers; and “Vicky,” the haunted record-playing Victrola. The family matriarch, Sylvia, is approaching her 93rd birthday and is worried about her widowed daughter, Varina. Together with her favorite grandchild, Donatella, the two cook up a scheme to attract single grandfathers looking for love as possible matches for Varina. Meanwhile, Varina books herself a secret cruise and finds a new best friend, her daughter gets a diagnosis that surprises no one, and a new baby is on the way. VERDICT There are a lot of laughs despite the mayhem and drama, and of course, many family dinners (with recipes!), but it is love that permeates and elevates this terrific Italian family saga. Adriana Trigiani fans will feel right at home here; a slightly more food-centric read-alike is Angelina’s Bachelors by Brian O’Reilly.

—Stacy Alesi


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