“I was a totally different person there.”
Sometimes when we travel we end up in places that have such a strong identity they infuse us with it as well. Italy has always been one of these spots for me, and I was glad to find that Annie Seaton’s new book, ITALIAN AFFAIR, successfully captures its essence.
As you know, I don’t typically write book reviews in my blog. But in this case I was so intrigued by the setting (Italy) that I decided to join in her blog tour. I’m so glad I did! It turned out to be a fun story with a great sense of place. -
When Scottish girl Brianna finds she has inherited a property in Italy she feels she will finally be able to get a feeling for the mother she never knew. The catch? She must be married to inherit it. Lucky for her she meets a kind, if a bit uptight, Australian guy, Tom, who for his own purposes agrees to help her out.
While at times I craved a bit more character development, this may have been because I liked both Tom and Brianna and wanted to see their personalities shine through even more. The story itself has just the right pacing so that the reader can enjoy the beautiful Italian setting.
And enjoy it I did! Descriptions of the villa she has inherited which brought me into the beautiful Mediterranean sunshine; attention to the details of food and drink; the portrayal of sounds which remind the reader they are in a living place.
A whitewashed villa sprawled down the hill at the end of the
road. The vista of the sea formed a scenic backdrop to the waves
breaking gently on the pebbled beach far below them.
“Is this it?” He strode down the hill and caught up to Brianna,
who stood at a locked wrought iron gate. Tom peered over the
top of the intricately scrolled metal into a paved courtyard with
a small fountain in the middle. Wind chimes tinkled and the soft
sound of the cascading water greeted them from inside.
(excerpt from- Italian Affair)
All of this allowed me, for a brief time, to travel to Italy and watch as the two main characters became the Italian versions of themselves… still quirky and unique, but a bit softer around the edges and more passionate about their own lives.
I give ITALIAN AFFAIR, 4 * stars. Take your own trip to Italy via this fun story and you might become a different person for a while as well.
Which of your favorite books have immersed you in their setting? Do you become a whole new person (without the help of alchohol:>) when you travel? I love to hear from readers, so leave a comment and be sure to let me know what you think of my posting a review every now and then.
Here’s to your own Journey Inspired by Love -
Be to click on the 'Read More' button below right for Author Bio, Book Blurb and Tour details
“It’s like you're trekking.”
With one of the chair lifts out of commission, and many of the runs closed, you would think our day of skiing would not have been much to talk about. Instead, though, the sun was out, the views were great, and I got to experience the concept of back country skiing as a guide led us across a run where at times we had to take off our skis and hike over patches of dirt.
The best experiences in my life, especially when I am travelling, always seem to occur when something unexpected changes my plan. Getting lost in Italy, finding myself without a hotel room in San Francisco, a car malfunction in England... these situation have led to my stepping outside my comfort zone and relying on the generosity / help of others. And, when I get that chance to interact with locals, be they foreign or domestic, I usually get a much better understanding of the place I am visiting.
I suppose this is why solitary beach vacations don’t do a lot for me. It is not so much that I need to be active as that I like to be involved. In fact, I am currently intrigued by the idea of a working vacation…though I know these aren’t always as useful as they are promoted to be (see this article from Conde Nast Traveler for more.)
My husband doesn’t feel this need like I do, and so vacation planning is always a negotiation for us. Even when I go someplace like Hawaii, I tend to spend quite a bit of time chatting with my fellow- travelers; or better yet, with locals in restaurants or shops. How do they like living where they do? What do they do for fun? Have they ever visited where I am from? And if so, what did they think of it? I imagine it is like what a photojournalist must feel when they
travel… a moment that is shared even if it is not fully understood. (Link here to one of my new favorite t.v. shows Word Travels, about being a travel journalist.)
Hiking across those dry patches was just a moment of my day…and for the others simply a means to get to a lift that was otherwise inaccessible. But for me, it was the highlight of my ski trip.
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