Book Review: Tomato Rhapsody

Posted on by captivatedbybooks

Tomato Rhapsody by Adam Schell
ISBN: 978-0-385-34333-6
Published: June 2009
Pages: 340
Publisher: Bantam Dell Books

A village in Tuscany is the setting for this joyous debut—a novel that defies all our expectations as it puts a fresh, clever, captivating spin on the age-old tale of forbidden love. Rich in literary delights, filled with spectacular wordplay, and rife with the bawdy humor of Shakespeare’s comedies, Tomato Rhapsody is the almost-true tale of how the tomato came to Italy—at once a brilliantly inventive fable of love, lust, and longing, and a dazzling feast for the imagination.

This is a story born from love—a forbidden love—between Davido, an Ebreo tomato farmer, and Mari, a beautiful Catholic girl.…But it’s not only Davido and Mari who have secrets of the heart. Everyone around them yearns for something—from Davido’s grandfather, who tenderly cultivates the tomato plant he stole on his voyages with Columbus, to Mari’s villainous stepfather, whose eye is trained on his stepdaughter’s virginity and his neighbor’s land.

Caught in the midst of these passions and machinations is a village full of eccentrics who speak in rhyme, celebrate the Feast of the Drunken Saint, and live a life untouched by the passage of time. The schemes and dreams of these men and women are about to change as what is forbidden becomes too delicious to resist. Tradition, religion, and good taste collide unforgettably in a story about the courage to pursue love and tomato sauce at all costs.

My Thoughts

I was highly intrigued by the title of this book, even more drawn in when I found out what this quirky little tale was about. As it states it is “A fable of love, lust & forbidden fruit”.

At the beginning it was hard to really know what the story was about. Many different characters were introduced at a fast pace. The story is mainly, for the most part about tomato’s. It is written in a Shakespearean style which I found fun & entertaining.

In my copy of the book there were foot notes to describe a word or phrase that was not in English, it proved to be a good help along the story.

The two main characters are slowly introduced they are Mari whom is a Catholic and Davido whom is a tomato farmer. It goes into great detail as to why their love is forbidden.

I’m not really sure where much love came into the book as I took it as lust between the two main characters as well as several others who lust after Mari.

The story of a tomato seed called a “love apple” seems to be another main character in this story which I found entertaining. I found this book to be a sensational read, it had me laughing and I did not want to put it down.

I highly recommend this book, it is fresh & different.


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