The Ice-cream makers

According to The Ice-Cream Makers family legacy, it was Giovanni and Luca Talamini’s great grandfather who invented “ices” or ice-cream in Northern Italy . Three generations later, the same gelataria in Rotterdam, the Netherlands is being run by a man of the same dynasty. Every Spring the family travels to the ice-cream parlour and they return again to Italy in Winter. Luca dutifully took over the responsibility of the ice-cream business from his father. Luca can be found hour after hour stoically churning the ice-cream, spatola in hand and bitterness in his heart. Luca’s brother Giovanni, strongly rebelled against the weight of responsibility and familial duty and turn his back on the ice-cream parlour. Giovanni was lured by poetry and found his calling as the director of a World poetry festival . An appointment which his father scorns. Sole responsibility of the family trade is left to Luca.

The three men have strained, somewhat “icy” (sorry I couldn’t resist pun!) relationships. Enter Sophia, Luca’s wife. Sophia is the sweetness that binds them all together, but the issue of the ice-cream parlour’s successor is breaking her heart. It is decision time. Time to decide what is more important: happiness, love, family, loyalty, sacrifice, tradition or the future. The Ice-cream makers is steeped with the weight of consequences and readers will see that decisions can have long term impacts for generations.

When I selected this book I was looking for some escapism, with an idyllic Italian setting, however the book has a tone of melancholy. The story tells of tradition, loyalty and sacrifice, rather than passion, gelati and la dolce vita. I hoped to love this book, I wanted to savour it’s taste and feel wanting for more but sadly I was disappointed.