Book Review: The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

April 14, 2022

About:

The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon is a whimsical novel about a mayor trying to save his small Italian village by making a movie. This is Ms. Simon’s debut novel.

  • 303 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : Sphere
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : 075158293X

Book Review: The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon
My rating for The Patron Saint of Second Chances4
Buy The Patron Saint of Second Chances from Amazon.com*
More books by Christine Simon*

Thoughts:

This is one of those light, charming, yet highly implausible books which are sometimes fun to read on a lazy afternoon. The cast of characters is fun, the tone is light, and the narrative is simple and doesn’t take too much thinking.

The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon makes it clear that nothing is ever simple in Prometto, however. Signor Speranza comes up with the money, loses it, asks for favors, and to top it all – making a movie is not cheap either-even if the main star doesn’t know he’s in it.

The web of lies Signor Speranza weaves, his missteps and gaffes are entertaining, reminiscent of the European movies I loved as a child. I enjoyed the aspects of reading about living in a small town, where everybody knows everybody else, and don’t hesitate to get into your business.
I actually lived in a similar situation previously.

I could, however, have done without some of the juvenile jokes. For me, they work very well in movies, not so much in a book. Some were funny, most I rolled my eyes at, but I thought they mostly took away from the well-written narrative instead of adding to it.

The book, nonetheless, has some quirky characters, which I found to be charming. The rich butcher, his talented, and not-so-talented sons, a clergyman who turns a blind eye, and, of course, your quintessential Italian family.

This ridiculous story worked well, it was funny and charming. Signor Speranza straight man to a comedic cast, especially his assistant Smilzo, was a delight to read, if a bit predictable.

Synopsis:

Vacuum repairman, and part-time mayor, Signor Speranza has a problem; his village of Prometto, Italy (pop. 212) must come up with the astronomical sum of 70,000 euros. Otherwise, the water pipes will not be fixed, the village will be uninhabitable, and its inhabitants relocated.

Signor Speranza comes up with a cunning plan, he’s going to start a rumor that the famous Italian movie star, Dante Rinaldi, is going to make a movie in the town, causing an economic boon. The plan, however, grows out of control when the town’s inhabitants participate with gusto, and his teenage daughter becomes social-media famous.

Buy The Patron Saint of Second Chances from Amazon.com*
More books by Christine Simon*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon
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The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

Wrap Up

The Patron Saint of Second Chances by Christine Simon

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