The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store

Jo Riccioni

The Italians at Cleat's Corner Store
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The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store

Jo Riccioni

In 1949, the insular English village of Leyton seems to have emerged from the war in relative calm - that is, until a family of Italian peasants arrives to work the estate at Leyton House. There’s nothing like a former prisoner of war and his two sons to set tongues wagging at Cleat’s Corner Store. For Connie Farrington, a 17-year-old shop assistant at Cleat’s, the Onorati brothers are a window to the wider world she has often longed for.

The two brothers are adapting to their new life in different ways: while the charismatic Vittorio is determined to reinvent himself and embrace all things English, the solitary Lucio is haunted by the secrets of his past, by events that tether him to the war in the mountains of Lazio. As Vittorio’s drive and Lucio’s quiet toil begin to cast an influence over Leyton, Connie’s world is turned upside down, and she is forced to re-examine her ambitions and dreams.

Populated with a cast of charming characters, The Italians at Cleat’s Corner Store is a beautifully observed tale of small-town life, exploring love, prejudice, and identity in the wake of World War II.

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