Book Review: The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley

Imagine This: You are eleven and envious of your older sister. She has everything you want to have but do not. All the men are crazy about her. If someone would just notice you for once. Despite your brother’s encouragement that you are special, you are not seeing it. Except you are hiding an extraordinary talent you’ve not been brave enough to show the world, or your little Italian town.

Until He enters your life. The first day you spot him in your dad’s café. He’s not everything you’ve dreamed about before today but you are certain from this day onwards you would be dreaming about him ALL THE TIME. Then he sings, and you know this is the guy you have to marry. He hears you sing after being shoved into the spotlight. And for once everyone notices you. But who cares about everyone when He notices you. Except he has eyes for your sister and there’s nothing your eleven-year old body has to contest with THAT.

Though he puts down the name of a teacher for you to go train your voice.
Years later, you have mastered the art of opera and can hit the low and high pitches as though a murderer has a death grip on your neck and is alternating between throttling you and losing his hold. It’s off to Milan for you to go sing at La Scada.

He has become quite a big name and finally he notices you when you make your debut. When you two sing it’s magical and even the audience with the toughest tear ducts shed a tear or two. Backstage the chemistry between you two is magical.

Too magical it’s obvious you two must belong together.

But too much chemistry could be dangerous. Especially when He has a reputation with the media that doesn’t fit with your good girl image and a past with a dark secret he might be hiding away from you.

Yet nothing can severe the indestructible bond between you two.

Rosanna Menici’s life involving opera, exotic locations and very obsessive obsession.

The worst kind of fiction is fiction that proves to be fact. Fiction that leaves you with that niggling doubt an author can create something so fictitious yet so real. Fiction that would leave you up all through dawn researching characters and pulling titbits from the internet that would prove events described in a title are based on true-life events. But really, it’s this worst form of fiction that stands to be the greatest form of fiction. Fiction that is so believable it crosses the threshold of fact. A star to the storyline. ──

Now I am not going to list off all the attributes of this book I loved and give them stars. Because mostly if I do such, it stems from my extreme love for the lead characters. With this title, I didn’t think I loved, loved the main characters (Rossana and Roberto). But not too much the opposite. It’s just that most times I felt like strangling the two for some of their choices, actions and I wondered why an author would want to pen a book with leads that could put readers totally off. But then, I realized there was no way I could bear such loathing towards the main characters without being totally engaged in the story. This love-hate relationship I had with the mains come to think of it, is a part of the author’s intended emotions to invoke in the reader. Not all mains have to be likable. And as long as that’s intended by the author, as much as I hate it, they deserve a star. Brilliant characterization. ── ★★

The supporting cast I did like. From Luca, the very supportive brother whose sub-plot with an Abbi, Rosanna’s best friend, is captivating. There’s also Donatella Bianchi, one scheming cougar you’d love to hate. There’s Carlotta, the sister who keeps a secret she’s battling so hard not to reveal. There’s also Marco, the needy father who craves company to the extent of ruining his children’s futures. ── ★★★

There’ just not enough to say about this book besides the fact that it’s engaging, thought-provoking and brilliantly phenomenal! ── ★★★★

My rating is definitely five/five stars.

The Italian Girl by the talented Lucinda Riley is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who’s a lover of the opera. Anyone who just loves singing (until their voices peters out into something resembling screeches of chalk on board) should get this title too. If you are a fan of soaps, and very intricate love-stories too you’d adore this.

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


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