Review: One Night In Italy by Lucy Diamond (4/5)

Wednesday, 4 June 2014
If journalist Anna had to write up the story of her own life, it wouldn’t make for a great headline: Dull Journo Has Dull Boyfriend! The only mystery in Anna’s life is that she’s never known who her dad is but with her mum refusing to tell her more she’s at a dead end. When she accidentally comes across a clue that her father is Italian, it opens up a burning curiosity in Anna. Soon she’s cooking Italian food, signing up for an Italian class and even considering dusting off her passport to go and find her dad in person… 

Sophie is serving gelato to tourists in Italy when she gets the call that her father has had a serious heart attack. In a rush, she grabs her well-worn backpack and heads back to the one place she’s been avoiding for so long – home. Living with her mum again while her dad recuperates, and taking a job teaching Italian to make ends meet, Sophie has to face up to the secrets she’s kept buried in the past. 

Catherine has no idea what the future holds. Her children have left for university, her husband has left her for another woman and her bank account is left empty after dedicating her life to raising her family. She needs a job and an identity all of a sudden. At an Italian evening class she makes a start in finding new friends Anna and Sophie. And she’s going to need good friends when she discovers her husband’s lies run even deeper than his infidelity… 

As Anna embarks on the trip to Italy that could answer all of her questions, will the truth live up to her dreams?

Thank you to the publisher for the review copy

So I settled down a few nights ago all ready for a nice summery read only to find out this book is set in Sheffield. I was a bit disappointed although a part of the book is set in Italy and those parts really were wonderful. That said of course the setting is only one part of a book and so it was up to the story to reel me in and keep me there until the end! I'm pleased to say that it did. This is my second Lucy Diamond read, my first being The Beach Cafe which I loved! So I had high expectations for this one, especially after fellow bloggers speak so highly of her other books. Although for me the biggest excitement before reading The Beach Cafe in 2012 was that Lucy is children's author Sue Mongredien!

We have three main characters. Anna, who in the opening chapter I found pretty dull. She was moaning about her relationship and I wondered whether I would struggle to like her. We also have Catherine who basically lives for her children and is heartbroken that they are finally escaping to go to university, she takes them both to their new homes and returns early to find her husband in bed with some random woman. Finally we meet Sophie, who is in sunny Italy. But not for long as she receives a call telling her that her dad has had a heart attack. Having not been home for eight years she reluctantly steps on a plane and goes back to the one place she never wanted to return to. Lucy creates the most realistic and believable characters. Catherine in particular at the start of the book came across to me as one of those pushy, needy mothers I just hate. And when she found her husband cheating I wasn't surprised. I was surprised however at how much I ended up liking her as the book went on!

Amusingly in the opening chapter Anna finds out that her father may be an Italian by the name of Gino. I thought to myself, surely not? The book being set in Sheffield I was half expecting Keith Lemon to jump out. For me it was Sophie who immediately stood out as the more interesting character, however as time went on I began to like all three of them. The three of them meet at an evening class where Sophie is teaching Italian and it isn't long before they become friends.

For me this is one of those books which whilst being chick lit it's a bit more 'real' than some of the other chick lit books out there and also a bit more grown up dealing with some serious, and relevant issues. There are less of the usual cliches and moments that just wouldn't happen in real life in this book and mostly what you get is the story of three very different women each attempting to move forward with their life after events in their own lives force them to do so. Usually when a book focuses on more than one character I wonder whether I will struggle to keep up with the story and care for the characters and end up missing them days after you've finished the book. Most chick lit books I read just focus on one character, but definitely no struggles here. The pages turned themselves and the book was almost over before I knew it!

Perfect for those looking for a fun read you certainly would be well advised to pick this one up. Escapism at its best. Hope to read more of Lucy's books in the future!

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1 comment:

  1. What happes in the end?? I need it for a book report XD

    ReplyDelete

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