Reviews for “Afritalian”

At the launch of Federica’s novel, Afritalian recently – I had to rush to the table at the front even before the speeches were over to make sure I got an inscribed copy! It wouldn’t surprise me to know I was also the first to finish as I thoroughly enjoyed travelling through the pages as fast as I could – each carefully chosen word revealed a well kept secret, another Cape Town gem – an unforgettable Italian expression or phrase and getting to know the absorbing characters living amongst the charmingly illustrated chapters was such a treat. It ends on a champagne note that blends all the feelings and expressions into a cocktail of memorable experiences that got me feeling incredibly nostalgic to visit Italy again. Well done – Fede – now where is the sequel per favore?!
Derek G Snell, 2017

What the author  sees is what you get. Federica writes humbly, honestly and never judge mentally. She is equally in love with two very diverse countries: one steeped in centuries of civilization, culture and warm family values, and the other “medium rare”, coming to terms with itself. The book is excitingly unregulated where you learn to expect the unexpected.  She has brought a new meaning of the word travel to me and the travel bug is now nibbling at my heels. Also, Federica’s insight into personal relationship brings back poignant memories of our own hiccups through life. In a nutshell, the book Afritalian once again underlines these two cliches ” you only have one life” and ” Live for the moment”.
Keat, 2017

Dear Federica,
Trust you are keeping well. I would like to complement you on your book AFRITALIAN which I have just finished reading. I really enjoyed the difference between South Africa and Italy and I could relate to it in many ways myself. It was easy reading and yet very interesting. WELL DONE!I Loved it! Grazie
Teresa, 2017

The book Afritalian was most enjoyable. The story was so well told that Federica created fiction to be so real. All the characters spoke of true Italian and South African culture. There is a lot of humor to be found where the two countries meet through Atena, the main characters, experiences and opinions. I loved how the character Atena seems almost quirky but she is still a believable character as she weaves through relationships and life that entertains the reader. I have learnt a lot as a South African how the Italians refer to some things that can only be said in a certain way which will give it true meaning. The illustrations in the book as an example pg 154 leaves you with a visual take of how the author sees the cultures. The sketches are an entertaining addition to the story. Thank you for an entertaining and an enlightening read. Looking forward to the next book.
Karin, 2017

I enjoyed this book and the frank amusing perspectives of life. The author’s command of the English language is delicious and her depth of knowledge on subjects like the Italian POW camps for example to life in Khayelitsha is deadly accurate. I felt like I was seeing life through her lens picturing her colourful descriptions seeing and enjoying the humour of each situation. Well done Federica! A great first novel!
Helen, 2017

I couldn’t put this book down! Moving to Sicily from South Africa myself, there was so much I could relate to in this book, and knowing Federica made it even more special. A book of adventure and enrichment yet it’ll still make you laugh out loud! A great read.
Claudia 2018

I have always admired Fede’s ability to reinvent herself and her passion for languages and travel. I found myself smiling throughout the book at her honest observation of different characters and cultures. An enjoyable, humorous escape! Congratulations Fede!
Marcelle Robbins, 2017

Da un capo all’altro is a delightful discover! A very authentic book about someone trying to discover herself, love, Africa and its diverse culture. Not only you get quickly involved with this captivating story and Attena’s great sense of humor, but you start your own journey in Cape Town and South Africa’s mindset, present and past. As an expat myself, I went through the similar situations when I moved to Joburg and being able to re-visit the past through different eyes was a fun and rich exercise. If you are not in South Africa when you read this book, for sure you would will book a ticket! A great adventure that will make you reflect on important issues at the same time that will make you laugh about them!
Maria Tieppo, 2018

You are an astute transmitter!
Travel, Love, Laughter, Friendship, Family, Food, Fun and intelligent too!
Tanya Bonello, 2017

What a lovely book, well written, witty and very entertaining! It reawakened so many memories of the Italian half of my life. I look forward to the next one.
R.Butler, 2017

Ciao Bella, Atena Monti displays the adventurous and courageous attitude of the author coupled with a sense of humor that drifts into the pages with easy subtlety. A great and enjoyable read which anticipates a sequel.
Luisa, 2017

The book Afritalian was a fabulous read; I couldn’t put the book down and read it in two days. Full of wonderful insights and beautifully written it brings together two worlds and the result is lots of laughter and funny little episodes. For a debut novel I give it 5 stars and cannot wait for the next one!
Isabella Burke, 2017

Fede – congrats on a good story and some lovely anecdotes … look forward to the next one! …. some bits reminiscent of Beppe Severgnini’s La Bella Figura. (I read the English version!)
Candice, 2017

This book (Afritalian) was one of the best books that I have read in a while. It was amazing and I could not put it down… I am literally sitting and waiting for the sequel to come out. Thanks for the book, I would not change a thing.. it is exceptional
Dillan, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed Afritalian, in fact I’m reading it for the 2nd time. A laugh out loud read – being a South African born Italian I can totally relate to what she says. Loved it and definitely recommend it. Brava Federica, am waiting for Afritalian part 2.
Francesca, 2017

Book finished! Unputdownable.” 😉 Started reading it and couldn’t put it down. When’s the next one coming out?!😀 Awesome read. Interesting, unsettling, entertaining. I felt so many different emotions. As I was reading, in my head I saw Federica. I would then have to remind myself that this is Atena. This is the first time I read a book by someone I know. Felt like voyeurism at times. 🤣 All in all, I enjoyed it. Keep writing. ”
Mpho Sello, 2017

Bellissimo! This book is a master combination of sentimental wit and linguistic ingenuity, which I know foreigners, and especially locals, will enjoy throughout each chapter. Atena is an endearing narrator who possesses a wanderlust I closely relate to and understand. I found myself laughing constantly as I continued reading and so many of the anecdotes within the book made me rethink my own perceptions of life and travel, which was wonderful.
Shalagh, 2017

Federica, the book is great, easy to read and you don’t want to put it down. I am Italian and lived is RSA for 50 years and I relate to the story very well. You must write another one as you have a great gift and you are blessed, so don’t give up! GET INSPIRED!
Enrico Tarantino, 2017

I ​Loved ​LOVED L O V E D Afritalian!
Thanks for getting it to me. Now that I read it from cover to cover​ and met Atena, I feel I’ve lost a friend.
Grazia, 2017

Feds, I finished your book and really enjoyed the way you wrote up Atena’s as well as the South African Immigrants’ experiences. I could relate to many of the descriptions and was delighted to read into the characters you created – the Giotto love interest was especially meaningful and I recognized aspects of this characterization from my family’s history as immigrants and even some of my brothers’ life story. I felt proud to be a South African with historically idiosyncratic links to Italy. It’s strange to say it or presume it but I would like to think that I may know more about you now. Those characters were written up in a unique and beautifully communicated way. You are, no doubt, a gifted writer and story teller.
Nadia, 2017

Federica has a wonderful way with words – no matter what language she speaks in. In Afritalian she uses this skill to take you with her on her journey across continents, mostly with humour, but at times with such beautiful insight and such tenderness towards her family it left me misty-eyed. The letter Atena wrote to herself I’ve read a few times – an unexpected gem in an otherwise light and quirky novel. Well done Fede, I loved your story, the illustrations, the way you made me blush with your very honest look us South Africans. It’s not always easy to look into that mirror, but it’s necessary. I’m sure your Italian friends feel the same. Keep writing – you do it so well.
Terena, 2017

“Millionaires, presidents even kings cannot do without the everyday things” – an extract from a children’s poem. And yet… the millionaires, presidents and kings drink water out of glasses bought at a chain store? The Italians, the French and even the South Africans cannot do without (doing) the everyday things. This necessity unites us. The how separates us the same way Joe Soap is separated from the millionaire.This “how” is called culture. It is about the idiomatic expressions, words and body language of a culture which very often are linked to its customs, history and superstitions. You need to write a whole paragraph to explain to the stranger the meaning of a few words, because a direct translation does not convey the meaning and the emotion attached to these words. It is this “how” that is part of us like our heartbeat. We are not even aware of it until……well, until you read a book like Federica Marchesini’s Afritalian. It is not an academic book on the Rainbow Nation or Italy; it is not about what is good or bad, right or wrong about South Africa or Italy. Reading the book is like looking at a soap bubble in the sun. Different colors are reflected on the surface, flow and dissolve into each other. Travel journal, dictionary, tourist guide and a semi- autobiography flow into each other. Most of the time she is simultaneously observer and role player as she reflects on the “how” of the South African’s way of living and compares it to the Italian way. And comparing cultures can be a dangerous game – especially in the diversity over sensitive culture of my country. Yet, it does not offend, due to the way it is done – with honesty and integrity because she loves both her own culture and the one which she has embraced. Buy the book and look into the mirror of who you are and how you reflect your culture in your own “how.”
Christa, 2018

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