I Love You Like a Tomato by Marie Giordano

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I, Letticia ChiChi Maggiordino, will put to GOOD use the power of the Evil Eye...

ChiChi Maggiordino will do anything to get God's attention. She will hold her breath, stand on tiptoe for an hour, walk a mile backward, climb all stairs on her knees... anything. When her grandmother teaches her how to use the Evil Eye, telling her it's how Jesus Christ made his miracles and how the Italians got rid of Mussolini, ChiChi realizes it's what her prayers have been missing. Now she can get started on the business of making her mother happier by helping her find love, and healing her brother's weak lungs.

But ChiChi's family lives in Minneapolis, and it's the 1950s. For an Italian immigrant family, sometimes it seems like nothing can make life easier. ChiChi's mother still pines for her husband, a long-dead American soldier; ChiChi's brother is disdainful of her sacrifices and penance-he doesn't understand what his older sister already knows, that sometimes God needs to be bribed.

When her grandmother passes away, ChiChi steps up her search for meaning and happiness, but it seems to be fruitless. And she struggles, the way so many women do, because her love for her family is suffocating, even while it fulfills her.

It's not until she meets two Italian dwarves, and they teach her of the ancient clown tradition, the commedia dell'arte, that she comes to understand that in order to make everyone else happy, she herself must be happy.

But first she must find her own way in the world... and learn to accept that not even the power of the Evil Eye can keep people from changing.

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About Marie Giordano

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Marie Giordano has authored more than thirty works of nonfiction, children's books, and poetry under the names Marie Chapian and Marie Jordan. Her most recent book of poetry, Slow Dance on Stilts, won the Award of Excellence from the San Diego Book Awards Association in 2001. I Love You Like a Tomato is her first novel. She currently lives in southern California, where she teaches creative writing and poetry at Mira Costa College.
Published April 19, 2004 by Forge Books. 480 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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As for his wedding: “How could I witness my brother pledge his troth in the church we sat in as children and swore we’d never ever leave each other?” Fortunately, the call from the New York talent scout comes right on cue: ChiChi heads east with a knife on her belt.

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Publishers Weekly

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The conclusion has Marco headed with his model wife to Hollywood as ChiChi hits the stage in New York.

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Star Tribune

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'Stolen Figs,' by Mark Rotella

Jul 12 2003 | Read Full Review of I Love You Like a Tomato

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