It has been glorious sunshine here the last couple of days but cold and even snowing at the weekend which was made bearable by a visit to Southern Italy in Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas. I am pleased to share my review for this romantic read.
Book Review: Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas
Title: Chasing the Italian Dream
Author: Jo Thomas
Release date: 8th April 2021 ebook 10th June 2021 paperback
A feel-good story of new beginnings, love and family
set in the sun kissed atmosphere of a southern Italian town and its much-loved pizzeria.
A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .
Lucia has worked hard as a lawyer in Wales, aiming for a big promotion she hopes will shortly come her way. Finally taking a well-earned break at her grandparents’ house in southern Italy, the sunshine, lemon trees and her nonna’s mouth-watering cooking make her instantly feel at home. But she’s shocked to learn that her grandfather is retiring from the beloved family pizzeria and will need to sell. Lucia can’t bear the thought of the place changing hands – especially when she discovers her not-quite-ex-husband Giacomo wants to take it over! Then bad news from home forces Lucia to re-evaluate what she wants from life. Is this her chance to carry on the family tradition and finally follow her dreams? From the bestselling author of Escape to the French Farmhouse comes a deliciously feel-good story about making your dreams come true.
Lucia is a strong, independent lawyer working hard for promotion, and is on a much needed holiday in Italy when Nonna, her grandfather, drops the bombshell he is retiring and selling the business to her ex, Giac. With a stunning location, beautiful scenery and atmosphere brought to life with Jo Thomas’s writing, I was immersed into the story quickly. I could smell the fragrance of the citrus trees, the aroma of the food cooking in the bustling kitchen and my mouth watered for the majority of the novel; I longed for pizza or a large bowl of pasta.
I cared for Lucia, the business and for her family. Full of warmth and love, this book made me homesick for somewhere I’d never been and would love to have someone like Nonna in my life. It explored the clash of the traditional and new ways of cooking and living, with a superb cast of characters. The chemistry between the women in the Nonna network and in the kitchen was heart-warming and I would love to know more about Veronica. She is a character I imagine could have her own novel that would be emotional but ultimately uplifting read. A romantic novel cannot exist without a romance and the tension between Giac and Lucia kept me reading. I wanted to know more about their past relationship and keen to see a way forward for them so they could have their happy ever after.
Ultimately, this is a novel about finding your place in the world and having the courage to shake off other people’s expectations and follow your heart and dreams, which is something we all would love to do.
Would I recommend?
Yes, it was a holiday in the sun without leaving home. It’s a beautiful, emotional, and uplifting novel which was a joy to read and one for my forever shelf for a reread when I need some much needed sunshine and food inspiration. It is wonderful to read about the power of women, even those who some consider living in the background. The setting has also meant rural Italy is added to my list of places I long to visit.
Once I can, I’m booking a table at my local Italian to indulge in a homemade pizza and imagine it was made by Lucia, Nonno and Nonna.
Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show. In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel,
The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award.
Jo lives in the Vale of Glamorgan with her husband and three children.
Website – https://jothomasauthor.com/
Twitter – @jo_thomas01
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JoThomasAuthor/
Thank you Random Things Tours for the advanced copy so I could review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.
Happy reading and take care!