There's a feel of autobiography in this light-hearted recapturing of the spirit of the Italian-American colony in Rochester, New York, called ""Mount Allegro"". Jerre Mangione was born among them and one feels he is recreating his youth in the boy, Gerlando, whose ""relatives"" number virtually the whole colony and others back home in Sicily, where he visits. His Sicilian family stubbornly clings to native customs, manner and language, and the lad feels at home in neither world until -- wholly Americanized -- he can look objectively and appreciatively on the very traits he had resented. The book in the final analysis is a thinly fictionized study of the Italian in America; it is a vivid, warmly human picture of what they are today. There are colorful figures in the story and many amusing and touching incidents. It is easy reading and delightful in detail. And it should appeal to a market paralleling Jake Falstaff's The Big Snow.