Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ristorante Paradiso - Review

Girl in Love with a side of Family Secrets

This story of a restaurant full of handsome Italian waiters wearing glasses and a young woman looking to expose a mother's secret over her abandonment caught me off guard. Another work that was written and illustrated by Natsume Ono, who, I think it's safe to say, I have a literary crush on at this point, and conveys deep emotional story in a simple and smooth graphic style. Nicolette, the red-headed young protagonist of the story, has arrived in Rome to find her mother who left her deeply in love with the owner of a popular restaurant. The restaurant is populated with waiters who all wear glasses (whether they need them or not), and make all of the female diners swoon when they walk by. Nicolette is torn between exposing her mother's secrets to her boyfriend, and falling in love and trying to be happy as well.

Right off the bat, this isn't the kind of story I usually read. Someone could go ahead and call it "chick lit," but Ono once again is able to take a genre I wouldn't normally like and populate it with characters I care about. Whether you're looking to read a love story, or just love stories in general, this is a surprising little graphic novel that puts a face on those who serve us in restaurants.

Side Note:

There's also a second prequel series called "Gente," which is about the different waiter's pasts and how they came to all work at the ristorante.

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