Chasing the Italian Dream – Jo Thomas

Lucia is working hard at her job as a lawyer, she knows she is up for promotion and so she is determined to win the coveted place. She knows she can do no more once she leaves for her two week holiday back to Italy, to her grandparents and the place she thinks of as home.

Upon arriving in southern Italy, I like Lucia felt automatically transported to the warmth of the Mediterranean, the smell of the lemons growing in the trees, the music of the little village and the taste of the home cooking from her grandmothers home kitchen.

All is not as it seems as Lucia, settles in she realises that her grandfather is thinking about giving up his little pizza restaurant as there is no one to take his place now he is seriously considering retiring. Lucia is horrified that this going to happen and is even further shocked when she discovers who is likely to take over.

Her husband, Giacomo. A man she has not seen for at least six years and someone she has not actually got round to divorcing.

It looks like this is going to be a difficult period for Lucia and she decides to face the challenge head on and says she wants to run the restaurant too. Her Grandfather sets her and Giacomo to a competition and may the best ‘man’ win.

However it is not going to be easy for either of them, Lucia needs to be recognised as something that is seen only as a mans job and so she needs some support. That support comes from some unlikely but lovely sources and proves that any woman is as good as any man in the kitchen.

Can Lucia keep a restaurant going and a successful career in law in another country? Can she keep the tomato sauce bubbling on the stove and can she convince Giacomo that perhaps they should get divorced. As difficulties find all of them in different ways, Lucia is faced with a decision – what does she want to do with her life? And who does she want to share it with?

I am fairly new to this authors books, but they are so rich with colour and character and in the case of this one wonderful Italian flavours that I could have eaten a bucket of gorgeous pizza and pasta described so well by the author. I was transported away completely with this novel and the warmth of its story emanated off the page in waves and I was swept away to that little part of Italy where I felt I could watch the world go by.

A perfect holiday read and a perfect read if you really need an Italian dream holiday.

Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Chasing the Italian Dream is out now on Kindle and published on 10 June in paperback.

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