The New Book Review

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Monday, April 1, 2024





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Campbell Dalglish (Writer, Director, Producer) - Founding Director of D'Arc Productions, award winning playwright, screenwriter and director. Associate Professor, The City University of New York. Amazon review

REVIEW: Having followed Linda Leuzzi’s award-winning journalism for the last 20 years in the Patchogue/Bellport area on the South Shore of Long Island, I can attest to her savvy uncompromising activism for the environment as well as her coverage of our community. She pulls us all together when it really counts, and you can count on her research. So it was no surprise that she is also a witty novelist who has created an imaginary community based on Bellport that is threatened by environmental concerns and the politics of builders eager to build more housing. “My Year With the Italian Girl” stands out as a novel about community and reminded me of Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town” in its various voices, and even Dylan Thomas’ “Under Milkwood” that depicts unique characters in Welsh poetic fashion. Written in a “head hopping” point of view the reader gets to see our imaginary village that is of course a real village to us, the Bellport reader, through the voices of three women who share the role of protagonist. Vivian Allegra, also a journalist, has taken in an Italian exchange student, Francesca from Catania, Italy. The third woman in this triad is a high school Step Dancer, Keisha, who introduces Francesca to her world of Bellport. Other characters continue to pop up throughout this story as Vivian romances with a witty Brit, faces off with Rowland a builder, and revisits her community through the eyes of her Italian guest as she gets initiated into Keisha’s circle of friends at school. All the characters are rich and unique, including a Canadian Goose named George and a black bird named Crowbar. I have read the book already once and am starting it up again. Head Hopping is a pleasurable literary device when used well, allowing us to get into different mind sets to arrive at the truth, whatever that may be. Often used in mystery thrillers for a Rashomon Effect where the truth is a guessing game played out by unreliable narrators, Leuzzi has used it for the joy of seeing her imaginary world, which soon becomes ours through three different and distinct reliable perspectives, engaging us not so much in the mystery of Bellport as with its unique character. I could easily see this turned into a play or an episodic TV series, and it’s the kind of book you can take with you to the beach for summer reading again and again.

Campbell Dalglish’s website is

 (See video of Isabella Rossellini interview with Linda at

P.S. (I have a total of 48 reviews on Amazon.)


Linda Leuzzi is an award-winning journalist, author and editor and her latest novel “My Year With the Italian Girl” was featured in a book talk interview by Isabella Rossellini. She’s written 8 non-fiction books for young adults, two of which garnered New York Public Library citations. Linda also wrote a book for the Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts celebrating their 20th anniversary. As former editor of the Long Island Advance, Tide of the Moriches and Suffolk County News who now writes frequently for them, her stories have won 19 New York Press Association Awards including First Place mentions for In-Depth Reporting, Spot News, Coverage of the Arts, Spot News Photo and Sports Feature. She’s won two Third Place Sharon Fullmer Awards for Community Leadership for team coverage of LGBTQ+ issues. Her many celebrity interviews have included Isabella Rossellini, Chazz Palminteri, Bernadette Peters, Sara Jean Ford, Tony Danza, Joe Piscopo, Melissa Errico, Lou Diamond Phillips, choreographer Randy Skinner as well as Nobel Prize, MacArthur Award scientists and astronauts. She also received a Media Award at the Long Island Women’s Conference for her contributions and positive community impact as well as a Science Museum of Long Island Outstanding Advocate for Science and Technology Award for Environmental Writing. She regularly writes musical theater previews and reviews for The Gateway Performing Arts Center as well as for art exhibits and film festivals. Community awards include Woman of Diversity for the Of Colors Black History celebration, Brookhaven Town’s Women’s History Outstanding Service in Media/Communications and a Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts honor for her stories. Linda also writes for the Fire Island News. She has mentored several young people over the years in the newspaper business and also via the Rotary Exchange Student program (six young women hosted at her home). A member of the Long Island Author’s Group, Linda is also a Sayville Rotarian who was asked to speak about her book during a regional conference. She trains at the Patchogue YMCA,, is an avid walker with her dog Tina, and loves trips to Manhattan visiting museums and attending Broadway plays as well as animals. Passionate about travel, her last two trips included a women’s wine tour to the Campagna region in Italy and a Celtic trip to Scotland and England. She also enjoys visits to the East End, stomping in preserves, and is an avid environmentalist. 

More About #TheNewBookReview Blog The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. Authors, readers, publishers, and reviewers may republish their favorite reviews of books they want to share with others. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read and love. Please see submission guidelines in a tab at the top of this blog's home page or go directly to the submission guidelines at or to the guideline tab at the top of the home page of this blog. Authors and publishers who do not yet have reviews or want more may use Lois W. Stern's #AuthorsHelpingAuthors service for requesting reviews. Find her guidelines in the right column of this blog home page (a silver and gold badge and threee silver-gray circles beneath it. Carolyn Wilhelm is our IT expert, an award-winning author and veteran educator, she also contributes reviews and posts on other topics related to books. Reviews, interviews, and articles on this blog are indexed by genre, reviewers' names, and review sites so #TheNewBookReview may be used as a resource for most anyone in the publishing industry. As an example, writers will find this blog's search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor. #TheFrugalbookPromoter, #CarolynHowardJohnson, #TheNewBookReview, #TheFrugalEditor, #SharingwithWriters, #reading #BookReviews #GreatBkReviews #BookMarketing HowToDoItFrugally Pre-format the post editor for each new post. Cancel Save Post published

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