“Everyone in the River City has a secret, and sooner or later secrets always come out.
A group of strangers meets at Ragazzi, an Italian restaurant, for a cooking lesson that will change them all. They quickly become intertwined in each other’s lives, and a bit of magic touches each of them.
Meet Dave, the consultant who lost his partner; Matteo and Diego, the couple who run the restaurant; recently-widowed Carmelina; Marcos, a web designer getting too old for hook-ups; Ben, a trans author writing the Great American Novel; teenager Marissa, kicked out for being bi; and Sam and Brad, a May-September couple who would never have gotten together without a little magic of their own.”
- * * *
I started reading River City when the author was serializing it on his blog, but decided to wait until the book was complete. I’m glad I did.
I was worried that it would be difficult to follow so many main characters and plots without getting confused. I’m happy to say it was easy to follow. The way the lives of the characters and the various plots are woven together is the way life is. Admittedly, some of the plot twists were predictable, but not to the point of causing me to lose interest.
One thing I liked was the ‘cast of characters’ in the beginning. That used to be common practice, but is rare today. When I read the names, the fact that some were listed as ‘deceased’ made me wonder, but it became clear as I read the book.
One of the best scenes, in my opinion, was Carmelina’s disastrous dinner party. It was a ROFL moment.
This book is heartwarming, sad, funny, and happy. An author’s job is to hold the attention of the reader and make them feel. Mr. Coatsworth has done a good job.