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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

One Night in Italy (Author: Lucy Diamond)

One Night in Italy (Book Cover)

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mystery/Romance

One Night In Italy by Lucy Diamond

Three women embark on very different journeys of self discovery (with one common interest), after each experiencing what turn out to be life changing events....

Sophie has spent 5 years travelling to different places, taking on different jobs & meeting lots of different people, most recently living & working in Sorrento, Italy.

She now finds herself back in Sheffield having received a phone call from her cousin, informing her that her Dad has been taken ill. Before long, & despite her protestations, she is back living with her parents & in her childhood bedroom wondering if she will ever get to travel again. Her mother, wanting Sophie to stay, even finds her a job teaching Italian at the local college, but can her parents betrayal, & the reason for her leaving all those years ago ever be put behind them?....

Anna is a journalist, working for her local paper, The Herald, & dating Pete with his smelly feet & rather irritating penchant for charting their sex life on a spread sheet. Her mother, Tracey is married to Graham, her stepfather. Over the years, she has attempted to broach the subject of her real father with Tracey, but it had always been quickly shut down. Then, one Sunday whilst visiting her Nan in the residential home, her Nan in one of her more lucid moments, mentions someone called Gino & tells Anna that she resembles him. Anna takes it that this must mean that Gino is her real father. Keen to pursue this train of thought, she decides to embrace her new found heritage in every way possible, enrolling in an Italian cookery class & Italian Language class. This earns her a cookery column in the newspaper, along with support & encouragement from her fellow classmates in finding the missing piece of her genealogical jigsaw .......Will Anna find what she was hoping for along with some extra surprises along the way.....

Catherine is married with two children, Matthew & Emily, & being 'just a mum', is wondering what she will do with herself once they are away at university. She hopes that it may present more opportunity to spend time with her husband, Mike. After dropping off the twins at their respective places of education, Catherine returns home to find Mike in their bed doing things to a blonde red lipstick adourned woman, that he had most certainly had never done to her.

After her husband leaves, Catherine is devastated but with the help of her friend & neighbour Penny, she begins to see a way forward enrolling herself in an Italian language class & even securing a job at the local plant nursery. However, she becomes aware of a dark, dangerous secret that Mike has been harbouring, & after some investigation work, discovers the consequences of his actions are far reaching, but also closer to home than she thought. Will Catherine use this as a chance to ruin the Janus faced GP's career......& could there be a new man entering her life?

I first read this book some years ago. It was leant to me by a friend, who turned out didn't want it back. Not being a prolific reader at that time, probably for a large part due to not having much book storage space in my one bedroom flat, I gave the novel to charity. However, I never forgot One Night In Italy & had it stored in my memory as one of the most enjoyable stories I had ever read, recalling that it really made an impression on me. This story is packed to the gills with characters, I had forgotten just how many there were to keep you on your toes.

I thought that the journey for each of our leading ladies was very well thought out. The humour in Anna's relationship with Pete together with her 'irritated inner thoughts', made me laugh out loud. Her relationships with her colleagues were most definitely reminiscent of those in my own work places over the years, & most importantly her story has made me wonder about doing something with my own literary & writing skills. Thank you Lucy....& Anna. Xx

Sophie reminds me of a friend who travelled a lot in her late teens/early twenties, & had me feeling quite envious of still being at that age where 'the world is your oyster'. The way in which her Dad embraces her back into the family fold made me feel relief for Sophie as her nervousness at being reunited with her parents was tangible. Her mum however, was less welcoming. I could understand this given her husband's health scare & when it is revealed that Sophie had been less than complimentary about her parents in a travel blog, never thinking that they would read it. However when you find out the cause of Sophie's resentment, my sympathy was once again with our girl, & you begin to see why, when her mum takes it upon herself to get her daughter a teaching job, Sophie sees it as parental interference. The friendships she goes on to make & the promise of a reunion with the love of her life keep you routing for her happy ending.

With Catherine's story, you are initially lead to believe that hers is a happy lot, with her husband & two teenagers. However, I did wonder why Catherine seemed so reticent to see the twins leave for University & yet Mike didn't seem to experience the same emotion. His keenness to see the three of them leave was something that I could feel. When Catherine returned to find Mike having it away with the red-lipped home wrecker, I felt very angry for her & indeed during all her confrontations with the conniving clinician. I loved the friendship with her neighbour Penny, it has lots of humour, Penny appears to be Emmerdales Kerry Wyatt to Catherine's Sally Metcalfe in Corrie. How she supports Catherine & is there for her through it all made me envious of such a loyal bond. The courage Catherine finds to re-build her life to being even better than it was & force Mike to re-evaluate his principles made me cheer, & hope that missing link of a romance will work out for her some day.....

There are no particular heart stopping or 'smack you in the face' twists but, this is an enjoyable, heartwarming, humorous story with well rounded characters. I will be keeping this copy.

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