OCTOBER 14, 2016!


by Rebecca J. Novelli

   Cover Art: R. J. Novelli

   Cover Art: R. J. Novelli

Publisher: Black Heron Press 

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Early readers say...

It's been about two hundred years since that Cat vs. Dog, European vs. American comparison first began, and now Rebecca Novelli's novel, THE TRAIN TO ORVIETO extends the conversation even further. Willa Carver, a girl from Ohio, marries blindly into an Italian winemaking family and, in doing so, sets in motion a series of events that will affect the lives of all around her. Later, her daughter, Fina Marcheschi, must live out the results of her mother's decisions and, in the end, will be forced to make momentous choices of her own. Beautifully told, against the background of the Umbrian countryside, THE TRAIN TO ORVIETO is a study in cause and effect, hope, pride, disappointment, and, finally, resolution.

                                  —Jim KrusoeThe Sleep Garden

It's hard to believe that THE TRAIN TO ORVIETO is Rebecca Novelli's first novel because it is such an assured, meticulously structured and engrossing creation. Rebecca pulls off the seemingly superhuman feat of writing about the American Midwest and an ancient Italian hill town with equal precision and verve. In Willa Carver she fashions a heroine who reminds me of the beautiful, doomed innocents of Henry James and Edith Wharton - but Willa's headstrong, sometimes foolish passion is all her own. For anyone who loves Italy, for anyone who has ever struggled to make art in the face of life's demands, for anyone who craves a thumping good read full of juice and desire and disappointment and festering secrets and shattering revelations - this novel will be immensely rewarding. Brava! I'm a fan.

           —David Laskin, The Family The Children's Blizzard

In her auspicious debut novel, Rebecca Novelli as set herself an ambitious goal, one that would give pause to many more experienced authors: delivering a complex, nuanced family saga spanning decades and continents. That she pulls it off so well signals the arrival of a new talent. With vivid prose, deep knowledge of the terrain and a keen ear for the voices of her disparate characters, Novelli explores the vicissitudes of time and memory and the dynamics of family and culture. Thoughtful, engaging, acutely observed, The Train to Orvieto is a promising beginning to a literary career.

 —Ron Reagan, Jr., My Father at 100: A Memoir, MSNBC Political Analyst

The Train to Orvieto is a rich family saga spanning continents and generations, unlocking the secrets and burdens that we all have in our complicated family histories. Novelli has written a wonderfully riveting and poignant debut.

Leonard Chang, Triplines and Dispatches from the Cold

I read The Train to Orvieto over several evenings, eagerly awaiting the next installment of this fascinating and complex story full of memorable characters and a dark secret.

Charles RosenbergDeath on a High Floor