Friday, June 25, 2010
Review and Giveaway: "Finding Marco" by Kenneth C. Cancellara
There Mark is transported back to his childhood and a place where things seem simpler and more pleasurable. He takes stock of the family vineyards, meets up with old friends, and celebrates an old-fashioned Christmas. Mark must decide if he wishes to return to Canada and join the corporate ranks once again, or if he is willing to give up his wealth and status in the pursuit of a happier future.
Finding Marco is the book of a man having a mid-life crisis. Instead of buying a new car or trading in his wife for a trophy wife, Mark longs for home. He longs for the sights and smells of his childhood, and luckily has a supportive wife and daughter who encourage him in his journey of self-discovery. That's what the underlying theme of the book is: self-discovery. Often we, as humans, become so caught up in money, and status, and the trappings of a technologically advanced world that we forget what it is like to experience the simple pleasures of life, and we forget what it is like to be truly happy. Mark finds that he is no longer happy living the status quo and decides to pursue those things that will make him a truly happy man.
I especially enjoyed the descriptions of Acerenza, Italy. I'm a bit of an armchair traveller, considering that I don't have the opportunity to travel often (and generally not as far as Italy), and I enjoyed the descriptions of the everyday life of those living there. Despite the fact that technology has been evolving there as well (in one part a friend of Mark brags that they now have cars and big-screen TV's), mules still abound, and people still take nightly strolls to talk to neighbors and "show off their finery". Doors aren't locked, and are often left wide open so that neighbors can come calling. These descriptions were enchanced by the fact that Kenneth Cancellara is actually a native of Acerenza, Italy, and could draw from his own memories while writing these descriptions.
One small problem that I had with the book was the fact that it sometimes felt like I was reading a biography, rather than fiction. I would have enjoyed more detail on the daily life of the character Mark, and I would have liked to understand his thoughts more. Instead I found that the book was very event-focused at times, which detracted at times from the story itself.
Aside from that, this was an enjoyable story of mid-life, self-discovery, and a return to roots. I recommend it to armchair travellers such as myself, or to anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to change their path in life. Thank-you to Megan at Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for this review copy!
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Armchair travellers, fiction lovers
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010
Thanks to Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, I have two copies of Finding Marco to give away! To enter:
1. Tell me where you've always wanted to travel to. Please leave me your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win. No e-mail= no entry!
2. *Bonus Entry* Become a follower of this blog through Google Friend Connect, and leave me a seperate comment letting me know that you now follow. If you are already a GFC follower, just leave me a comment letting me know that you already follow.
3. *Bonus Entry* Spread the word about this contest, and leave me a seperate comment letting me know how you spread the word. Tweet about it, Facebook it, blog about it, whatever! Just leave me a comment letting me know what you did.
This contest is open internationally! It runs until July 16, 2010 at midnight EST, and winners will be notified by e-mail. Good luck!