Santo Fico is an isolated Tuscan village set next to the sea and high on the mountain cliffs. Reachable only by a winding, dangerous road, it is a village few people visit and many want to leave. One day a British tourist bus, lost and out of petrol, turns up - and Santo Fico is never the same again. Father Elio feels the drought, the lack of money and tourists, the theft of the church's great treasure - a magnificent stone fresco - and the villagers' apathy, are his fault. He loses all hope and thinks his only chance to bring back good fortune is to fast. Leo is probably the only person who can save his life - when the lost bus arrived, he saw his chance to make himself some money, resurrected an old legend about the 'miracle' of Santo Fico (St Francis and the fig tree) and makes 200,000 lira. He, and his friends Topo and Marta (owner of the inn and mother of beautiful 9-year-old blind Nina), try various 'miracles' to get Father Elio gain back his spirit to lead the village through the rest of its life.
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If you savored Joanne Harris's Chocolat or Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun, if you dream of honeymooning in San Gimignano or you've ever stood in a specialty foods store sighing over imported olive oil, you will fall hard for The Miracles of Santo Fico. By turns sentimental, romantic, and mischievous, D.L. Smith's debut novel is set in a small Italian hill town, like hundreds of others, that has been in decline for 60 years. Remote and dusty, with a dry fountain in its modest piazza, Santo Fico only attracts tourists when local boys change the road signs. But there is one hidden treasure in the grubby old church--a perfectly preserved fresco of St. Francis that looks strangely, miraculously like the work of Giotto--and when a black sheep named Leo Pizzolo tempts God by trying to profit from it, he must come up with a few miracles of his own to save the town. Expect picturesque charm, old wrongs made right, and a happy ending for all. --Regina MarlerAbout the Author:
Dennis Smith has worked professionally as an actor, stage director, playwright, screenwriter and teacher for thirty years. He is currently Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Oregon. This is his first novel.
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Book Description Time Warner, London, 2003. Limp. Book Condition: New. Uncorrected advance proof Copy. Advanced Reading Copy (ARC). Bookseller Inventory # 006854