One Night in Italy by Lucy Diamond

Everyone had their fragilties. 

Title - One Night in Italy 
Author - Lucy Diamond 
Publication Date - June 5th 2014
Publisher - Pan 
Format - eBook
Pages - 400

The 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 has 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 that call that her father has had a serious heart attack. In a rush, she 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? 

Becca's thoughts

I'd like to send a big, sparkly thank you in the direction of Lucy Diamond, the fabulous author of One Night in Italy and the publishers Pan, for accepting me via Net Galley. I was incredibly excited when I received an email informing me that I had been accepted and I couldn't wait to begin reading it. 

Whenever I see the word 'Italy' I imagine stunning scenery, gorgeous Italian men, glittering blue seas and adorable little eateries. I apologize for referring to another book during this review but ever since I read a 'The Villa' by Rosanna Ley I have been obsessed with the place so when I read the title to Lucy Diamond's newest release I was squealing with excitement! I must mention that this is the first  novel by Lucy Diamond  that I have read (yep, where have I been?!) and I have to say, I was very impressed. I read the last page with one of those soppy, 'wow, this was so beautiful' smiles on my face. In fact, I'm still wearing that smile whilst writing this review. 

One Night in Italy was a brilliantly written story surrounding the lives of three women from completely different walks of life. Lucy introduced the reader to her character Anna first. Out of the three women, Anna was my favourite and the one I found I could relate to most. (Sorry Catherine and Sophie, I loved you both too!) Anna was a journalist and found herself becoming tired of the same old daily routine that she went through constantly, and which mostly consisted of writing up pointless and uninteresting articles that she just couldn't find the passion for. Revealing a tiny bit more about her past, Anna has never met or even known her father, but she has always been curious as to who he is, and where he is for that matter. I felt that Anna's story really began after a life-changing visit to Clemency House, the care-home where her grandmother Nora was living. Nora lets slip at the right moment and hands Anna a key to unlock the door regarding her father. From that moment on, Anna was stepping into a world rammed to the brim with everything Italian, trying everything to feel closer to her new-found Italian bloodline. Italian cooking classes and Italian language classes spurred Anna on towards her ultimate goal - finding her father. What I loved most about Anna's part in the story was her determination, and the emotional struggle behind it. Her chapters were full of drive and conviction. Not once did she turn around and admit defeat. Her dream kept strong and I admired her so much for that. I found all the Italian references to be gorgeous, the recipes that Anna learnt and phrases at her language classes pulling me deeper into her mind. I could completely understand the attraction of Italy and everything that it had to offer. Another character that plays a sort of side-role within Anna's story is Pete, her pig of a boyfriend that I took an instant dislike to. Lazy, no enthusiasm for his and Anna's relationship and I just felt like punching him in the face. I really didn't know what Anna was doing with the slime-ball. I was begging her, in my head of course, to chuck him! As soon as possible! What made it even worse was his chart that he kept on his laptop. Yes, that's right, ladies. A bloody chart. And guess what that chart contained? Urgh, he's so vile. I won't spoil the lovely surprise for you, I'll let you find out for yourselves. Anna was lovely, a do-gooder and I was rooting for her constantly as she went on her journey of discovery. 

The next character that Lucy introduced was the lovely, kind-hearted Catherine who came a very close second to being my favourite character. Catherine actually reminded me of one of my own best-friends; someone who doesn't realise how bloody marvelous they are and never has a nice word to say about themselves. Catherine goes on a very bumpy ride within this story and I really wanted to comfort her with a huge hug the majority of the time because I just felt so bad for her. She really didn't deserve anything negative that happened to her. Catherine doesn't feel very appreciated and tends to look upon herself as just being there for other people, never really doing anything for herself. I admired this so much about her. When Catherine's own story takes off, her two kids are off to university and she really doesn't know what she is going to do without them at home. She's dedicated her entire life to her gorgeous children and feels a little lost when they leave. Catherine hasn't actually been left on her own though. Her husband, Mike, is still at home too, who I don't really have much to say about! Catherine's journey was more one of self-discovery. I loved watching her come out of her hardened shell and truly show herself to the big, wide world. She was once a cheeky young girl with a radiant smile and someone who would never let anybody walk all over her. Throughout the story, I felt that Catherine was kinda' resurrected, and I absolutely bloody loved it. Overall, she was a fantastic addition to the group of women and I couldn't help but adore her. 

The last member of the group was the fantastic Sophie. Lucy drops us off in Italy when Sophie's part of the story begins. She has been travelling all over the place, working here and there to earn enough money to move on to the next destination, but her gallivanting is brought to an end when she receives a call from back home informing her that her father has just had a heart attack. Instantly, Lucy describes Sophie's hesitation in returning home and my interest piqued. I wanted  to know what happened, why she was suddenly feeling panicked and this was a great way to hook the reader in. Of course, Sophie ends up returning home, not really having a choice in the matter due to her father's fragile state. When Sophie and her mother set eyes on each for the first time in years, there are sparks instantly. I was dying, absolutely DYING, to find out what was between the two of them. Sophie's character was brilliantly put together. She was a little feisty and couldn't stand the thought of being under lock and key. I got the feeling she was a free spirit and couldn't bear to let anyone try to have a say on what she chose to do with her life. I was in awe of this Sophie's travel experience and a little jealous too. But there was more to Sophie than just the stamps on her passport, and I loved this about her. 

What was so magnificent about this story was how perfectly Lucy managed to weave all three lives together, but then still managed to separate them off again later on too. It was cleverly structured, superbly written and I just could not put it down. Every character, every individual character and their own personal story had me hook, line and sinker. It was beautiful, emotional yet still have that fabulous chick-lit feel about it too. 

Becca's Books is rating Lucy Diamond's One Night in Italy with five gorgeous looking cupcakes! I couldn't take my eyes away from the pages for a single moment. It was just brilliant!



1 comment :

  1. I can't wait to read this book, I've bought it yesterday as it sounds so wonderful!