Book Review: One Night On Italy by Lucy Diamond

Blurb: 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?

I loved, loved this book! So you know in my review I’d be screaming at you to go get it.

To start of this review, yes, I love chick-lit about taking vacations. Yes, I love chick-lit set in exotic places. Yes, I love chick-lit about Rome, Florence, Tuscany. So you could tell how elated I was to pick this book. Very el—ong—ated.

I adored the storyline. Three different women with dissimilar lives, sharing one passion for Rome. One cheated on by her husband on her matrimonial sheets. One on a quest to look for her long-lost Italian father.  One jetting back home from her wanderlust bliss to look after an ailing father. It’s all magnificent. I liked how Lucy Diamond choreographed all these women to coincide, stemming away from the best-friend characters from start-to-finish norm. ──

Secondly, the three main characters were brilliant. It’s hard to pull off the multiple-main-character thing and still have all the voices of the leads standout. You would simply adore Catherine for being the somewhat shy, damaged self-esteem wife stemmed from constantly being emotionally abused by a jerk of a husband, the mum who would want a little acknowledgement from her family so she wouldn’t haul the cooked turkey at the wall during Thanksgiving, the woman with the tendency to blush like a schoolgirl when put on any spot. Anna would also be the journalist you love, for her enthusiasm to experiment, for being the girlfriend who snoops into her boyfriend’s computer to view his accounts of their every lovemaking and his closing remarks (‘gained too much weight over Christmas’) in spreadsheet(!), the colleague who brings to work loads of treats from her cooking exploits. Sophie must be remembered for being the wanderlust travel blogger who is constantly in time to update a Facebook status, put on her Good Teacher outfit to offer lessons in Italian, and constantly contemplate if she should chase after a long-lost dream and a long-lost man.

You would be cheering these characters on, on their journey to self-discovery, reconnecting with their newly-found heritage and wondering where on earth to jet next! A star to these main characters.── ★★

Also, the supporting cast were as fabulous. Marla, the office bitch who wouldn’t lay off Anna’s weight. Joe, the charming office colleague rumoured to slip his hands under skirts during Christmas parties. Imogen, Anna’s Editor who bestows on her the most ridiculous columns which are far out of reach of her skills. Pete, Anna’s boyfriend who constantly keeps record of every sex encounter (with any woman) on spreadsheet. Tracey, Anna’s mum dreading her daughter’s ‘impending’ pregnancy and lacking warmth as a result of being a successful struggling single-mum. Emily and Matthew, Catherine’s children who are eager to get rid of her and move on with their college lives. Rebecca, Cath’s rival who incurs the wrath of hairdressers by being demanding and leaving no tip. Jim, Sophie’s dad whose humour poured in radiance into her dull Sheffield life. The students’ of Sophie’s Italian class were spot-on well-developed and hilarious too. A characterization party in this book. ── ★★★

It’s amazing when a chick-lit title has all the elements to keep you glued. Humor, check. Suspense, check. Lucy Diamond is so witty her writing keeps a smile glued to your lips impending the moment when she’d drop in a line that makes you laugh-out-loud. I loved that this book was so unpredictable, you never once could I guess the outcome of this book.── ★★★★★

My rating: Five out of Five Stars (obviously).

Lucy Diamond’s amazing latest can be got on Amazon.

I recommend this book to any fan of chick-lit. I recommend this book anyone who loves summer-tastic chick-lit based in far-flung exotic places. Anyone who loves chick-lit with leads they would be cheering on. And anyone who loves Lucy Diamond as she doesn’t disappoint in this title.

My only question to Lucy  Diamond is, Why didn’t Mike ever notice Cath’s (hair)do-over.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

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