Some stories are good, some stories are great, and some stories make you laugh and cry so much you feel it’s not a story anymore. It becomes a world you belong to, a world you don’t want to leave even though your real life is calling. A world that returns to you the next day, and years later when you re-read it because your memory is foggy and you miss your friends. The Wayfarer Trilogy by Nina Romano was this type of story, and each book within it stood on its own as a worthwhile endeavor. *I’d like to thank Nina Romano for providing these books in exchange for an honest review. I am eternally grateful.
Book One – The Secret Language of Women
I read in the Park Record that Romano first wrote the second book in the series, “Lemon Blossoms,” and then took it back and wrote the prequel, “The Secret Language of Women.” It was an inspired idea because The Secret Language of women is so precious, lyrical, and rich that it explodes on the mind-palette like an aged cheese. Of course, “Lemon Blossoms,” has its own fine qualities, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
If I had to choose only one thing to tell you about “The Secret Language of Women,” I would say I fell in love with Lian; a young, mixed-race healer following in her father’s footsteps. She is intuitive, moral, and unquestionably strong. I cannot give away the ending, but I will say that I experienced several emotions and cried unabashedly. As a new mother, wife, and woman torn between many worlds and dreams; I identified with Lian and her character arc. Romano did justice to her; in fact, she did more than justice. She gave her a complex, beautiful, tragic, and explosive life. Giacomo, loosely based on Romano’s own grandfather, was equally well-written, though I identified with him less.
In addition to Romano’s beautiful language and fully fleshed-out characters, her pacing was steady and engaging. The plot was both incredibly dramatic and believable. A separate review, pages long, could be written about the setting. I could tell Romano really went to China and traveled Europe when I read her words, and I felt like I was there myself. I believe this might be the most delicate and thoroughly structured setting I’ve read in many months, if not years.
Book Two – Lemon Blossoms
This story begins after the other left off and continues Giacomo’s adventures in life and love. It feels completely different than “The Secret Language of Women,” and yet it’s familiar in the best way. I apologize to it because, like a middle child, I lost this story a bit in the shuffle as I binge-read the entire series. I was so incredibly eager to get to the end that I sped through it, skimming Roman’s incredible prose because I was so invested in Giacomo, Angelica, and the other characters and what was going to happen. I will be giving it a thorough, slow reading someday very soon.
Overall, the story stood head-to-head with the others and was compelling, engaging, and emotional. The real standout is Italy and Romano’s uniquely flavorful descriptions of Italian food, life, and customs. I wanted to visit there before I read the series, now I want to visit there and see the places she spoke of, imagine the characters moving around and speaking to each other. This is another dynamite book, and I’ll be adding it to my all time favorites in this category and in general.
Book Three – In America
When I finished the second book in the series, “Lemon Blossoms,” I thought there was no way the trilogy could end and satisfy my need for more stories about this family. I was partially right. “In America” is, on its own, an endearing, dramatic, and insightful story about family loyalty, honesty, and finding one’s true purpose. It is as well-crafted, insightfully imagined, and descriptively delightful as the previous stories in this trilogy if not more so.
“In America,” finishes Giacomo’s story through his and his daughter’s voices, and it exposes more about the ambitions and motivations of the characters than I expected. I feel like Romano laid bare their hearts here on a whole new level. I cried (again) as I finished this book and I immediately texted my aunt that she should read it because it reminded me of the complexity and strength of my grandmother.
The Wayfarer Trilogy as a Whole
The Wayfarer trilogy is awarded, recognized, and highly rated across all platforms. I expected greatness and Romano delivered. I want to see all three of these books in every grocery store and Hudson Booksellers chain in the country and I believe everyone I know would agree with me (and they aren’t here to say otherwise)!
Romano is a master author, a brilliant storyteller, and a gifted artist. Please buy these books and support her work.
I rate the Wayfarer Series 5/5 stars enthusiastically. If I could rate it 6/5, I would. Each book in the series also receives a 5/5 rating.
Nina Romano’s Website: https://www.ninaromano.com
Twitter: @ninsthewriter // Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ninaromanoauthor/
Goodreads Author Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/896984.Nina_Romano
Goodreads Dashboard: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard