By Teresa Neumann
All’s Well House, $14.99, 401 pages
Domenico’s Table is the second novel by Teresa Neumann and an incredible story regarding love and war spanning through the 1940s and 2001. Domenico, an Italian man living in Tuscany, rents his casala each summer to a German man by the name of Dolphus Geller. Each summer, Domenico is faced with memories of the Germans who infiltrated his peaceful mountain home and nearly destroyed his family, and the question of who the two Nazis were that invaded his home.
The story begins with Dolphus Geller, a former Nazi, staying at Domenico’s summer rental like any other summer. This time, however, Dolphus has two guests: His granddaughter and her lost sister from America. The four – including Domenico – go through a healing process that no one expects. Domenico’s cousin, Marco, works as their guide through Italy, as well as a guide through the suffering they are exposed to. As Marco goes through the six weeks with the never-satisfied Aarika, Dolphus’ granddaughter, and the peppy American sister, Poppy, he as well goes through unexpected changes as he realizes what true love means.
The novel is a beautiful story. It includes many characters, both in modern and war times. It relays a story of pain and compassion, while touching on the tension and anger between the Germans and the Italians following the heinous acts of WWII. Even though decades have past, the two nations still struggled to accept the past and move forward. Neumann magnificently outlines and defines the evils of war, and the chilling effects it has on families who endured its heartache for years to come. With a climax you do not expect, Domenico’s Table is the perfect novel for those who enjoy a good read involving love, food, and the other side – in other words, the German side – of World War II.