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Reviewed by Karin Steyn for Readers' Favorite
The Visitor: A Novel by C. D’Angelo is a delightful story for women who love authentic, endearing, and relatable life experiences. The protagonist, 30-year-old Mary Pontrelli, is a stereotypically superstitious, impulsive, and emotional Italian. She rents a store with a studio apartment above it and runs her business passionately. Mary loves her cat and customers, who have supported her for many years. With the building suddenly up for sale, she is beside herself. The situation is made worse by the return of her high school boyfriend, who works for the company that plans to demolish the property. Still, Mary’s resilience and determination do not easily allow her to cry when faced with problems. She also finds comfort in a strange new friendship with Patsy.
In The Visitor, C. D’Angelo’s first-person narrative brings Mary’s paradoxical character to life. She forgets things and is impatient when stressed or in a hurry, yet mindfully brings calm into her life with her interest in yoga, deep breathing to recharge her chakras, candles, crystals, lavender, and journaling. I found it easy to relate to Mary’s fear of change, loss, and the unknown, and I admired her inner strength. D’Angelo describes everyday things and emotions beautifully and vividly with well-chosen words and creative sentences. The realistic downtown New Orleans accent in the dialogue makes the characters real and interesting. There are many entertaining, humorous, and supernatural moments to enjoy for those who love chick-lit fiction. The main character’s camaraderie and often dramatic tone make the book a good read.