Privacy is a Foreign Word in Supino

By (author): Maria Coletta McLean

The village of Supino looks as sleepy as the opening shot of an old black and white Fellini film. At the newspaper office, Bianca stumbles into a job meant for someone else and a new advice column, Ask Minerva, is born. Soon everyone is engaged in trying to discover the mystery columnist’s identity as well as the identity of her correspondents.

Seven years have passed since Rosa’s husband’s disappearance and now he’s been declared legally dead. And her secret lover (that all the villagers know about) wants to marry her. Bravo! Except Rosa is uncertain and when she’s uncertain she tends to run away. That’s why she’s taken her son Carlito to Venice for a week. As Rosa’s relationship unravels, Carlito does some unraveling of his own and inches closer to uncovering the mystery of his father’s identity. Back in the village, Rosa’s best friend Assunta is lonely. Perhaps that?s why Assunta falls so quickly and naively for Enzo, the smooth-talking bottle cap salesman.

Every villager, from the hairdresser to the barman and each one in between, has an opinion on Bianca’s column, Ask Minerva! The young hairdresser’s assistant has trouble with her marriage to a man with a wandering eye, not to mention other body parts, and at the Kennedy Bar, the men gather to laugh over the columnist, Ask Minerva’s advice until they begin to realize that it’s their wives who are requesting the advice.


Maria Coletta McLean

Maria Coletta McLean is the author of the best selling memoir, My Father Came From Italy and the sequel Summers in Supino: Becoming Italian. She’s been featured in the National Post, Toronto Star, Globe and Mail and USA Today. In 2002, she was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for her contribution to the Canadian literary landscape. Maria is a graduate of York University and University of Toronto: she lives in Toronto where she teaches Creative Writing at Seneca College. She maintains a home in the village of Supino, where the patio is still under construction.


“Warm with wit and shining with insights into the human heart, this sunny tour of lives and loves in the Italian town of Supino is so captivating, you may never want to come home.”
—Barbara Kyle, author of the Thornleigh Saga novels

“The lives of the villagers of Supino intertwine in this delightful book that tickles your sense of nostalgia and humour to a time where everyone knows or thinks they know everything about their neighbours? business. The village bar is a favourite hangout, filled with the latest news, advice, and opinions of everyone from the coffin maker and the electrician, to the hairdresser and the woman secretly behind the “Ask Minerva!” advice column. Snappy dialogue, spirited characters, and the idyllic Italian setting make this new book by Maria Coletta McLean—like her previous ones: My Father Came From Italy and Summers in Supino—molto simpatico!”
—Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli, award-winning author of La Brigantessa and Pigeon Soup & Other Stories

“Coletta McLean’s story takes place over nine months and she delivers a bundle of joy. Walking the streets of Supino with her characters makes you believe in second chances and long for a time when Facebook was looking out your window and Google searches were love potions and curses from the herb store.”
—Carrie-Ann Smith, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

“I LOVE THIS BOOK! The quaint village of Supino, with it?s sienna-coloured hill-side architecture and weekly festivals celebrating the seasons and saints, is one of those picturesque villages in Italy that you drive past on the highway and say, “My God, I?d love to stop and visit a place like that some day.” But of course, Supino is inhabited by people called human beings – and they know all the business of each person in their village. Renowned author Maria Coletta McLean is an expert in the patterns of life in Supino. Beautifully written and full of fascinating personalities, she takes us on a dreamy Italian vacation as we step inside and breathe in the aromas of the local homes, restaurants, bakeries and bars. Between indulgent meals of twirled spaghetti, bites of rosemary chicken and sips of espresso, McLean weaves stories of deceit, affairs, question, triumph, happiness and love. Reading this book, makes me wish that I was Italian. Everyone has secrets. But in Supino, as everywhere? it?s never good to keep secrets – because everyone finds out in the end. Especially if it?s Maria Coletta McLeans?s Supino.”
—John Ota, author of The Kitchen


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216 Pages
8.25in * 5.50in * .40in


September 25, 2023



Book Subjects:

FICTION / World Literature / Italy

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