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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.