OLIVE BRANCHES DON’T GROW ON TREES (2012) Drawing on her own background, Grace Mattioli has created a warring but loveable Italian-American family, who just can’t seem to get along. While they all have their individual problems, youngest daughter, Silvia Greco, hopes that she can bring the family together to celebrate the graduation of her little brother, and in so doing offer an olive branch of peace to the disgruntled factions. What follows is an energetic, funny, and endearing tale of a twentysomething woman with an incurable need to keep moving, but without any real sense of direction. As she finds her own way, so too she hopes to help her family put their problems aside.
“The author weaves a moving and realistic portrayal of a dysfunctional family with enough drama and humorous family situations that will keep the reader engaged and entertained, while providing…subtle messages of life lessons to extend the olive branch and learn to live, love and forgive,” Jersey Girl Book Reviews
“The sequences of Silvia’s recollections into the past with her strong willed, born ahead of her time grandmother, the jobs she has held, and lost as it were, are nothing short of brilliant,” Chapters and Chats Book Reviews
“Grace’s intimate knowledge of her subject shows in her frank and open style of writing, which invites the reader into the lives of the Greco family, as though they were long lost friends and therefore there is no need to stand on ceremony, or pretend that things are not just as they are. An amazingly perceptive, cleanly written and well told story, marks Grace Mattioli’s debut novel,” Fiction Books Biz Reviews
“The author…manages to make us care about this family. All of the Grecos…are entertaining and their quirks are endearing. OLIVE BRANCHES DON’T GROW ON TREES is a very real drama that gets to the heart of the conflict within the Greco family,” Indie Reader Reviews
DISCOVERY OF AN EAGLE (2014) When Cosmo Greco and his sister, Silvia Greco drive to Portland together, a soulful American road trip is set in motion, but when a near-fatal car crash threatens to do more than derail the trip, the story takes a thoughtful turn, forcing Cosmo to re-evaluate his life. With wit and insight, Mattioli approaches such issues fear of change and what it takes to be truly happy.
“A warm blend of travel and observation, family interrelationships, and reflections that ultimately capture the meaning and purpose of getting away and journeying to new places…a soaring story of one man’s exploration of new possibilities, new worlds, and ultimately, a newfound purpose to life,” Midwest Book Review
“The characters the two siblings meet along the way-whether delightfully crazy or attractive or lost-serve as foils for a kind of personal growth particular to a road-trip scenario, and the landscape of the vast space between the East and West coasts acts as a catalyst for emotional and spiritual change. Mattioli writes in an assured voice that carries the story through its potentially sentimental passages, and…by the end, (readers) may be surprised to find that they, too, have undergone an emotional odyssey…poignant and well-drawn,” Kirkus Reviews
“As you feel yourself traveling with these Grecos, you see Cosmo’s world open and expand with each cathartic, soothing and beautiful scene or person he discovers…If you are longing for change, feel stuck in your lifestyle and want to discover America come with Silvia and Cosmo to find the beauty that lies past your present world,” Ruth Amernick, reviewer for Library Journal
“The book isn’t just about Cosmo’s journey. It takes a hard look at the lives we live, the monotony we assume is a part of adulthood and the mediocrity we’re content to settle for. Through Cosmo’s shoes, the reader’s perspectives are quietly opened to new possibilities,” The Lit Room Literature and Film Reviews
THE BIRD THAT SANG IN COLOR (2021) Part family saga and part self-actualization story, this is about Donna Greco, who in her teens, subscribes to a conventional view of success in life—and pushes her freewheeling, artistic brother, Vincent to do the same. However, he remains single, childless and subsists in cramped apartments. She harbors guilt for her supposed failure until she makes a discovery which allows her to see his internal joy and prompts her own journey to live authentically. While this textured story combines serious issues such as alcoholism, death, and family conflict, it’s balanced with wit and humor. We meet endearing, unforgettable characters as the story spans decades, beginning in 1970. Readers will be immersed in this tale as it poses an intriguing question: “What pictures will you have of yourself by the end of your life?”
“Hugely moving, beautifully rendered, brilliant,” Lidia Yuknavitch
“a refreshing family portrait about interpersonal evolution…presented with affection, humor, and insight…an inspiring slice of life blend of philosophy, psychology, and transformation that draws readers into a warm story and examines the wellsprings of creative force and legacies,” Midwest Book Review
“highly polished artistic prose…evolves fluidly; with great heart and humour…A consummate exponent in the art of storytelling and skilled in the imagery of words…Without exception, the characters are all emotionally complex…lyrical and lovingly written…profound and thought provoking,” Fiction Books Biz Book Reviews
“a heartfelt family story told with grace and humor,” Rose City Reader
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Grace Mattioli is the author of three novels–Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees, Discovery of an Eagle, and The Bird that Sang in Color. All three novels feature a quirky, dysfunctional, yet highly lovable family named the Grecos. While entertaining and humorous, her works are intended to inspire readers to live happily with themes such as peacemaking, ceasing the day, and living authentically. She also published a small collection of short stories entitled The Brightness Index.
- What is your forthcoming novel, The Bird that Sang in Color about?
- How does this book tie into your previous novels and is there a particular order in which they should be read?
- What was your inspiration for writing this book?
- How did you come up with the title for this book?
- What do you want to resonate with readers after finishing this novel?