Thursday, 10 June 2021

Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas


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?

One thing I have certainly missed since covid wrecked its havoc is jetting off around the world discovering hidden gems and tasting various cuisines, but I have had a little taste of what I am missing through Jo Thomas’s books!

This time we are taken off to Italy in her latest release Chasing the Italian Dream where our main character Lucia is heading back to see her Nonno and Nonna but when she discovers that due to her Nonno’s recent health issues he has decided he needs to step away from the family restaurant and that he had picked her not quite ex Giacomo to take over! Could this be the push that makes Lucia discover what and who she wants in life?

Jo Thomas has fast become one of my favourite authors as she never disappoints me and I think she has delivered her best book yet she reveals another masterpiece that transports me away to an exotic location with mouth-watering delights, strong independent female leads and a storyline that will capture my attention and not let it go meaning each book of hers has to be read in one greedy sitting!

This is certainly a book to be avoided if you are on a diet because this book has so many tantalising delights and left we with a mad craving for pizza and a desperate need to try tiramisu! I enjoyed the competition to see if the old traditional food would beat the new modern take on the pizzeria, I just would have loved to have had a sneak peek at the end!

Lucia was an instantly likeable and determined character and I loved how she brought women together to challenge the tradition of male pizzaiolo and the use of sourcing all local ingredients. There were new chances and fresh beginings for a number of characters which was humbling to see, it just shows we are never too old to make a big change in our lives sometimes we just need something to open our eyes to opportunities.

The romance that flowed through the storyline didn’t overpower the storyline which I liked but it also kept me intrigued and guessing what way it was going to go.

This was such a joyous read that I definitely will be recommending to all of my bookworm friends who love a feel good uplifting read.

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