Friday, 2 May 2014

Book Review: Sweet Dreams, Little One by Massimo Gramellini

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Sweet Dreams, Little One by Massimo Gramellini
The story of a lifelong search for happiness


This book is an autobiographical account of Massimo Gramellini's life following the death of his mother when he was nine years old.  We follow Massimo as he traverses through childhood into adulthood, constantly searching for the reason his mother would 'leave' him so soon. 

Although I found it slow going initially, the book does take you on an emotional adventure from the heartbreaking through to the laugh out loud.  In fact, there were several moments when I was crying and laughing at the same time much to the bemusement of my Other Half.

I think the element which really sells this book is the fact that it is a true story, and although at times I was so caught up in the story I would forget that it really happened, for me as a mother, reading Massimo's confusion and hurt and seeing how the loss of his mother impacted on his entire life really struck home.  There is such a naivety to Massimo when he is first told the news and he goes round in circles wondering what he did wrong to make his mother want to leave, and what he can do to bring her back.

Massimo also talks about a regular presence in his life, 'Belfagor'...Belfagor is basically his grief and although Massimo goes through life appearing semi-normal on the surface, every now and then Belfagor rears his head and draws Massimo's attention away from those around him and into inner turmoil, reliving all the emotions of his mother's abandonment of him etc.  I thought that Belfagor was an interesting way to depict the grief which was obviously undealt with and eating Massimo up.  It takes a long time but eventually, someone does come into Massimo's life who helps him to understand the way he is feeling but it is incredibly sad that someone could feel this way for such a long time.

I really enjoyed the book, the chapters are fairly short and it is concisely told and easy to read.  Although there were times when I wished someone had arrived in Massimo's life earlier and told him to get a grip, it is still a beautifully told story which mixes tragedy with amusing anecdotes.  It will certainly stay with me for a long time and at the very end, when we finally see Massimo's understanding and comprehension of his mother's death...well, I won't ruin it for anyone who wishes to read but it is certainly insightful.

It's easy to see why this book has proven so popular, having been translated into 14 languages with over a million copies sold.  I would definitely recommend it (just have the tissues ready!) and am pleased to say that I have two copies to give away!

If you'd like to enter then please use the rafflecopter below.  UK entrants only please.  The giveaway will end on Friday 30 March and two winners will be generated at random.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book for the purpose of the review however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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63 comments:

  1. The mouse proof kitchen

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  2. chantelle hazelden2 May 2014 at 13:50

    I previously reviewed this book and I was pleasantly surprised by it :) do feel free to link up to my book linky #ReadWithMe too over on MamaMummyMum :) #booklovemay

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  3. I Just Finished Last Night The Eye Collector By Sebastian Fitzek, brilliant book because the story is told in a different way

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  4. Nice review, will b added to my long "to reads list". Im reading "Arch of Triumph" by Erich Maria Remarque at the moment...second time already. Just love this book!!!

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  5. Tracy K Nixon2 May 2014 at 18:46

    The Island by Victoria Hislop

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  6. im not reading one at the moment

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  7. kathycakebread2 May 2014 at 20:16

    the tales of a new york taxi driver

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  8. sarah diane rees2 May 2014 at 20:36

    lovers rock

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  9. laura stewart3 May 2014 at 08:15

    The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton - brilliant so far

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  10. Going back on old PG Wodehouse - Jeeves and Wooster

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  11. Sarah Spencer4 May 2014 at 14:41

    Walden and Other Writings - Henry David Thoreau

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  12. Victoria MyLittleLBlog4 May 2014 at 20:42

    sounds like a good read, sorry wont be entering the comp, i guess as most of our families are with mums and dads and children, sometimes its hard for us to imagine how children may feel when parents separate or when one parent leaves.abuses them

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  13. Kelly Brittle6 May 2014 at 10:22

    i have just finished reading lost for words

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  14. Caroline Blaza7 May 2014 at 07:56

    Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews. Reading for the second time

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  15. stacey turner7 May 2014 at 14:34

    im not reading one right now

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  16. Not reading any at mo

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  17. Thirteen Days to Midnight, Patrick Carman

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  18. I am not reading anything at the moment - But this did remind me that I need to take the kids library books back today!!!!!

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  19. Abigail Edkins10 May 2014 at 12:34

    the beach...again

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  20. Janine Phillips10 May 2014 at 16:31

    Take Mum Out

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  21. i am not reading any book as i have finished them and need a new one to read xx

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  22. Michelle Banks10 May 2014 at 19:43

    oliver twist

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  23. The Perfect Match- Katie Fforde

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  24. I'm not reading at the minute, have been very recently :(

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  25. TaraShea Nesbit - The Wives Of Los Alamos

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  26. The Wives of Los Alamos by TaraShea Nesbit

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  27. im reading big bad wolf by james patterson

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  28. Hazel Christopher12 May 2014 at 16:29

    The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden

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  29. The hunger Games - the mockingjay

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  30. 50 shades of grey <3

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  31. About to start the 'Maze Runner' :)

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  32. The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

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  33. michelle muirhead18 May 2014 at 12:55

    Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French

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  34. Looking forward to reading it

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  35. Michael Connelly The Black Echo

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  36. Richard Randall24 May 2014 at 20:04

    The Telling Eror by Sophie Hannah.

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  37. 50 SHADES OF GREY

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  38. Leigh Marea Boyle25 May 2014 at 00:11

    the hunger games for the 100th time =)

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  39. Holly Edmundson25 May 2014 at 10:07

    50 shades of grey ;) x

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  40. Cindy Gillespie25 May 2014 at 16:36

    I'm reading 'Stuart - A life backwards' a biography about a man who is a thief, hostage-taker, psycho and street raconteur and reads backwards from the man he turned out to be to when he was a twelve year old boy - I cannot put it down

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  41. Stephen Little26 May 2014 at 16:28

    Nothing At All by N. O. Body

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  42. In Search of Respect - Philippe Bourgois. It's an ethnography about crack dealers in El Barrio, East Harlem

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  43. one child - torey haden

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  44. Tripwire by Lee Child

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  45. Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd

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  46. Samantha J Freeman28 May 2014 at 08:32

    A Hat Full of Sky - Terry Pratchett

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  47. More Than Bananas by Glenn Myers

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  48. Book?! I have a ten month old who's into absolutely everything! I haven't read a book in ages :(

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  49. A DIY book.

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  50. PS I LOVE YOU

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  51. The Origin and Deeds of the Goths; Jordanes

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  52. The Land of the Painted Caves by Jean M Auel, the last book in the Earth's Children series (I feel sad that it's the last book).

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  53. Dr Thorne by Trollope

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  54. An Officer & A Spy - Robert Harris

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  55. Petals on the wind

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  56. The hunger Games :)

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  57. Fool's Assasin by Robin HObb

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  58. Jackie Chapman28 May 2014 at 21:44

    The thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield

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  59. Mary Poppins

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  60. jack reacher seriers

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  61. The Stand by Stephen King

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  62. karen rose did you miss me

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I love to hear from people who've taken the time to read - do leave a comment :)