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

From the publisher: The self-appointed mayor of a tiny Italian village is determined to save his hometown no matter the cost in this charming, hilarious, and heartwarming debut novel. Vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of Prometto, Italy (population 212) Signor Speranza has a unless he can come up with 70,000 euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water commission will shut off the water to the village and all its residents will be forced to disperse. So in a bid to boost tourism—and revenue—he spreads a harmless rumor that movie star Dante Rinaldi will be filming his next project nearby.

The cover of this book caught my eye at the library a couple weeks ago and I decided to give it a try, and am I ever glad that I did! “The Patron Saint of Second Chances” by Christine Simon is a funny, touching story that kept me laughing throughout and left me with a warm feeling in my heart.
In a small town in Italy, the water commission is about to shut off the town’s water supply if the residents can’t come up with the money to fix the pipes. The desperate mayor can’t face telling the people they will have to move, so he starts a rumor that a popular actor is going to film a movie near their town, thinking this will attract tourists and bring in the needed revenue.
The rumor snowballs and soon he finds himself actually making the movie with the enthusiastic help of everybody in town. But how long can he make excuses for the movie’s supposed star not showing up?
The townspeople are delightful, and one ridiculous complication after another gives the reader plenty of belly laughs. But this story is also about relationships, and in the end, the mayor — and the reader — is left with a new appreciation for family — which includes one’s community. I give this book an A-plus and heartily recommend it as a perfect summer read.
The Patron Saint of Second Chances is available for checkout from the Galesburg Public Library.

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