'Some kids I met told lies to be special. I told lies to be normal...' It is the early 1960s and for young Calvin Becker, the son of embarrassingly over-zealous American missionaries, the family holiday in the Italian resort of Portofino is the highlight of the year. But even under the influence of the seductive Italian summer, the remaining ...
'Some kids I met told lies to be special. I told lies to be normal...' It is the early 1960s and for young Calvin Becker, the son of embarrassingly over-zealous American missionaries, the family holiday in the Italian resort of Portofino is the highlight of the year. But even under the influence of the seductive Italian summer, the remaining members of Calvin's family seem incapable of ever really relaxing. His father is always slipping into one of his Bad Moods, his mother insists on trying to convert the 'pagans' on the beach. As for his sister Janet, she keeps a ski sweater and a Bible in her suitcase because you never knew when the Russians might invade and pack you off to Siberia. Calvin's dad says everything is part of God's Plan. But this particular summer, Calvin has a few plans of his own...plans that involve such exuberantly pagan locals as Gino the whisky-drinking painter, the Bagnino and his boats, the very sensible (and very English) Bazlinton family and, most of all, their very lovely daughter Jennifer. Deliciously observed and deliriously funny, PORTOFINO is a wry, affectionate and wonderfully sustained evocation of a time, a place and a particular point in a young person's life.
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This was undoubtedly one of the funniest books I've read. Couldn't put it down, and ordered a couple extra copies to lend out. Well written. Took me back to the 60's and spending summers in Door County. Laughed so hard my stomach hurt!
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