Don’t you just love that feeling when you start to read a book and instantly feel that good book vibe. I got that same feeling with this new book from Jo Thomas. In addition I got a powerful urge to book a holiday to Italy, browse Pinterest for pics of Naples and buy myself a luxury pizza.
Here’s the blurb:
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?
Perfect escapism from the author of Escape to the French Farmhouse and The Honey Farm on the Hill.
Here’s my review:
This book was, for me, fictional armchair travel at its best. From the second Lucia arrived at her family run pizza restaurant in southern Italy I felt like I was tagging along behind. The scene setting is fabulous; smells of tangy tomato, wood burners, lemon trees, delicious pizza, fresh garlic and Italian coffee in the air. Sounds of the hustle and bustle from the town square and the singing waiter from the cafe, and the many sights of cobbled streets, archways and terracotta roofs. This is a very descriptive and engaging read.
I connected with the main character Lucia in a couple of pages. Both worlds; her demanding law job / possible promotion in Wales and the family run pizzeria in Italy were competing for her affections from the start. It was clear Italy was going to put up a good fight. I loved the family run pizza business and her grandparents. Everyone should have a Nonna and Nonno in their life!
Let me talk about Giac or Giacomo – Lucia’s handsome Italian ex-husband. My goodness he certainly made my armchair holiday to southern Italy worthwhile!
I loved the way Jo Thomas weaved in the family business needing a new owner, Giac, his history with Lucia and a pizza making battle.
This was a fabulous book which held my attention right till the last page. When I finished this book I felt like I had experienced something with Lucia, Nonno, Nonna and Giac. This is a sign of a good book.
Definitely worth a read.
Praise for Jo Thomas:
‘Rich, warm and sunny. A story that stays with you long after the last page is turned’ – Milly Johnson ‘The characters went straight to my heart’ – Katie Fforde
‘Like the very best kind of holiday’ – Lucy Diamond
‘A sparkling, heartwarming hug of a story’ – Miranda Dickinson
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.