Rambling with Milton

Romance - Contemporary
410 Pages
Reviewed on 11/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Richard Siciliano lives in Northern California. For many years he was employed by community and social services agencies, and was active in anti-war activities. His interests include running, baseball, and Americana music.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

In Rambling with Milton, Richard Siciliano writes a contemporary romance that resonates with readers who have a more mature outlook on relationships. Two failed marriages have given Milton “Jock” Petitte a lack of fulfillment. His marriage to Hazel was brief and it ended when he chose newspaper work instead of the law. Carol’s affections cooled as his stories could not compete with social media. Yet he has not given up on love, and he continues his goal to become an actor by writing one-act plays. His literary agent books him at senior centers and retirement homes where the clientele are allegedly more educated. During a Christmas play at a rehabilitation facility, Jock meets Prudence Rogers who is trying to recover from clinical depression, and Cupid is quick to draw and shoot an arrow at Jock.

Rambling with Milton's handling of romance is excellent. This is no boy meets girl trope in a plot of swooning over an ideal man or woman. Nope, this story goes far beyond that as Jock and Prudence explore the possibilities of building a life together while trying to save each other. Richard Siciliano writes their intimate moments in a way that lingers in your mind: “They sat on the bench all afternoon. He listened as Prudence spoke without the uncertainty or hesitation caused by a need to please. And she felt that she was with a man who had, at last, become himself.” It is not often that you read a romance novel that not only entertains but deeply explores the relationship between two human beings on an existential level. Rambling with Milton accomplishes this without trying too hard.

Edith Wairimu

Rambling with Milton by Richard Siciliano is a moving romance novel that chronicles the shift in the lives of two partners who hope to move forward from their pasts and face the future together. After a long, successful career as a newspaper columnist, Jock Petitte now performs plays for retirement homes and senior centers. In one, he meets Prudence who suffers from clinical depression and chronic anxiety. After two divorces, Jock now feels ready to pursue another relationship. As Jock and Prudence’s romance begins, each struggles to understand the other. Jock is unsure what Prudence expects of him. When they settle down, Prudence struggles with her condition. Despite the turns that their relationship takes, Jock does not give up on Prudence and does everything to support her.

Rambling with Milton explores in depth the effects of clinical depression and chronic anxiety on a sufferer and their loved ones. Jock tries to understand the hold depression has on Prudence. As Prudence answers his questions, she explains the impact and pain of living with depression for most of her life, her reliance on medication, and the strain of finding the right psychiatrist. I loved that the story is genuine. It does not avoid the heartbreaking parts of a relationship where two people are imperfect and have painful experiences. Jock fights with feelings of guilt in his role as a step-father. Throughout her life, Prudence strived to fit in with her family and move forward from a life-changing loss. Rambling with Milton by Richard Siciliano is a poignant romance novel about depression and enduring love.

Mamta Madhavan

Meet Jock Petitte and Prudence Rogers in the romantic novel Rambling with Milton by Richard Siciliano. Jock had been married and divorced twice and these were as easy as his marriages had been. There was no need for settlements and they had each retained their possessions. At heart, Jock always carried a secret desire of becoming an actor and it is when he was performing a humorous Christmas play at a rehabilitation center he met Prudence Rogers, who was in recovery there. She was keen to meet him again to have his opinion about a donation she was planning to make, and they met again for lunch. Prudence wondered what she would tell her therapist about him. As the story progresses, both of them are smitten with each other and their love story is all about them saving each other and also themselves in the bargain.

Rambling with Milton deals with human emotions and their complexities. Apart from Jock and Prudence, the other characters in the story have also been portrayed well, making them memorable to readers. Richard Siciliano's narration is descriptive and detailed and that makes the plot and characters palpable. I like the way the author weaves in the complexities as well as the nuances of human relationships that are brought into the story using different characters and layers in the plot. The style of writing is neat, simple, and elegant and will pull readers into the story to see how the relationship between Jock and Prudence evolves.