Ristorante Paradiso by Natsume Ono, translated by Joe Yamazaki
Nicoletta arrives in Rome with a very specific goal: she’s determined to confront the mother who abandoned her 15 years ago. The reason her mother gave then remains just as inexcusable now: “‘There’s a man I’m destined to be with. But he’ll never marry a divorced woman … so he can’t know that I have a child,'” and with that, she was gone.
At 21, Nicoletta announces to an exasperated, shocked Olga, “‘I’m going to tell your husband.'” But somehow Olga gets her way (she apparently always does)… and the secret remains safe … for now.
That husband turns out to be the rather intriguing owner of an intimate little restaurant where reservations are virtually impossible to come by. All the staff are suave and charming … and happen to wear glasses (another Olga indulgence): “Most of our guests are here for the waiters,” Nicoletta’s would-be stepfather, Lorenzo, tells her. “Our customers share a particular weakness for handsome gentlemen.”
Olga and Lorenzo set Nicoletta up with an apartment, and even a job in the restaurant’s magical kitchen. She quickly makes friends with the welcoming, attractive staff. When her heart-strings feel a gentle pull whenever the head waiter, Claudio, is around, Nicoletta perhaps begins to understand a bit about the high price of true love. [Don’t get me started on Mama, ahem!]
From the creator of the fabulous manga not simple, Ono creates a light Italian treat, Japanese manga style … whose supporting characters are so appealing, they’ll get a series of their own … stay tuned.
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
RISTORANTE PARADISO © 2006 Natsume Ono/Ohta Publishing Co.
Original Japanese edition published by Ohta Publishing Co.