Chasing the Italian Dream
Publisher: 10th June 2021 by Random House UK, Transworld Publishers Corgi
Pages: 342 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, fiction, contemporary, culture Italy
My Rating: 3.5 cups
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?
‘Pizzas, made for sharing, with the simplest of ingredients, cooked and served with love. That’s what counts.’
Every now and again you just need that ‘breather’ of a book. You know the type .... one that whisks you away where the sun is shining, people support each other and new ventures are undertaken. Chasing the Italian Dream is just the fresh air I was searching for.
‘Now it’s my turn to be brave. Do what I love. I need to live to work, not the other way round. I need to see that what I’m doing means something.’
If you enjoy books set in Italy, rural Italy with loads of sumptuous food, then this really is the book for you. You will find yourself seated in the piazza, eating antipasto or pizza and with a vino of course! The range of characters are good - I particularly enjoyed the author's social commentary on the inherent patriarchal society prevalent in these older Italian communities - you know, women at home being wife and mother and not considered capable or appropriate to be a pizzaiola or restaurant owner. Credit to Jo for making one of the central themes of this book all about the role of women in conjunction with the contributions of all the ‘Nonna’s’!
‘... it made me see that life’s too short not to do the thing you love. Not to follow your heart, to feel like you belong.’
If you are after some pure escapism, especially as trips to the Italian countryside can only be via your armchair presently, then let Jo bring a little Italy to you. Visit Nonno’s Pizzeria and bask in the sun, eating and drinking to while away a few hours immersed in good Italian cuisine.
‘Pizza-making is about tradition, the terrain and the craft,’ I say, repeating my grandfather’s words. ‘It should not be about what sex you are or where you’ve come from. It’s about you putting your story on the plate, wherever you’ve come from.’
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.