Under Italian Skies – Nicky Pellegrino

Stella thought her life was sorted. She enjoyed her work, her busy life and was content. Everything was going well, until her work stopped, she was no longer busy and it seems not content.

Having worked for the last 25 years for a fashion designer, who dies suddenly, Stella is left to pack up and close the place where she has worked. For this fashion designer will no longer continue now she has passed.

Stella is left all alone and feels rather lost. Everything she knew and was certain about has gone. What can she do now and is she at an age where she could start again?

Trawling the internet, she comes across a house swap website, the Italian villa that is pictured, is a world away from what Stella is used to, but she can suddenly see herself there. But would the owner of the villa want to swap for a flat in London, with only a view if you really seek to find it from her small balcony?

It seems that Stella is about to find out and finds herself in the Villa Rosa whilst it’s owner, Leo finds himself in London. A friendship via email develops between them as they both see their homes and the cities and villages through someone else’s eyes and it opens them to how much world there is out there and that actually a lot of it can be found on your very doorstep.

As Stella settles into life in Triento, she meets some other women who are at different stages in their lives but all at some sort of cross roads. Francesca, is determined to escape the watchful critical eye of her mother in law. Tosca is hiding from a life that she once had that was not all it was made out to be and cannot see success in the future. Raffaella needs some colour in her life and that colour cannot just come from the food she cooks.

Stella finds herself totally immersed in Triento and adores the Villa Rosa, her emails back to Leo in her flat in London make her realise that perhaps her life can now be very different.

As always with a Nicky Pellegrino book you are transported away to a part of Italy, that seems to be undiscovered and whilst you can feel the warmth of the sun on your back as you are taken on a journey. You can also seemingly taste the food which is prepared and most of all importantly shared with everyone to enjoy.

An ideal holiday read without having to leave the comfort of your home, your imagination on the other hand will need a passport and some sunscreen!

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this book. 

Under Italian Skies is out on 7th April 2016