If you have read any of Jo Thomas’s books before (or follow her on Twitter) you will know that food plays a large part in her novels. She posts foody tweets each morning which get my mouth watering and sometimes inspire what I’m going to have for tea! I highly recommend that you stock up on pasta and pizza ingredients before reading this book because that’s absolutely what you’re going to be craving while reading.
Chasing the Italian Dream is the story of Lucia, a hardworking lawyer who lives in Wales but who is half Italian. When she visits her Italian grandparents in southern Italy, she is horrified to learn that her grandfather has finally decided that it’s time to retire from his pizzeria and, with no son to pass it on to, is considering selling. Even worse, he’s thinking of selling to her not quite ex-husband Giacomo. She can’t bear the thought of it going outside the family and becomes set on the idea that she can take over the pizzeria. After all, she’s learned from her Nonno and Nonna and knows the family traditions. But is this quiet town ready for a woman pizzaiola?
Being a woman could bring problems in this very traditional part of Italy. A woman’s place is in the kitchen yes, but the kitchen at home, not in a restaurant. I was outraged on Lucia’s behalf! However, I loved how she gathered a team of women around her, women who were not necessarily conventional and who perhaps also needed that chance to break from old traditions.
One thing you can be sure of when reading a Jo Thomas book is a gorgeous setting to whisk you away somewhere and now more than ever we need that escapism in books. When you read this, you will definitely feel transported to a beautiful Italian town. You will feel the sun on your face, hear Angelo singing his opera songs, smell the fresh basil and almost taste the tomatoes on the vine. Chasing the Italian Dream is definitely a feast for all the senses.
Chasing The Italian Dream is a glorious celebration of food, love and following your dreams. It’s about family, friendship and love, and working out what matters in life. Throughout the book you get a real sense of love of food and for this Italian family, food is love.
Thanks to the publishers Transworld Digital for my review copy of the book from Netgalley. Chasing The Italian Dream is available now in ebook format and the paperback will follow in June. You can order a Kindle copy here: Chasing the Italian Dream
From the back of the book
A summer escape she’ll never forget . . .
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?
Perfect escapism from the author of Escape to the French Farmhouse and The Honey Farm on the Hill.
About the author
Jo Thomas worked for many years as a reporter and producer, first for BBC Radio 5, before moving on to Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Radio 2’s The Steve Wright Show.
In 2013 Jo won the RNA Katie Fforde Bursary. Her debut novel, The Oyster Catcher, was a runaway bestseller in ebook and was awarded the 2014 RNA Joan Hessayon Award and the 2014 Festival of Romance Best Ebook Award. Jo lives in Pembrokeshire with her husband and three children.