‘Chasing The Italian Dream’ is the latest book by Jo Thomas.
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?
I spent my Saturday with my head in Joâ€™s latest book, the perfect escapism story to curl up with filled with strong women and delicious recipes that literally made my mouth water.
The story is seen through the narrative of Lucia, a daughter of Italian parents who spends 2 weeks each year with her grandparents in Italy. With her out of office off, she longs for the Italian sun and to reunited with her Nonno and Nonna. But when her Nonno announces his retirement from the family restaurant and Lucia is distraught at the change until she realises that she wants to run the family business, but itâ€™s unheard of a woman being a pizzeria owner in the small town. As well dealing with the shock of her Nonnaâ€™s retirement, she has to face up to her ex-husband Giacomo who she never divorced who also wants to buy her Nonnoâ€™s business. The pair of them end up in a secret competition creating delicious pizzas and dishes and the winner gets the restaurant.
I absolutely love Joâ€™s writing, set in picturesque settings that sweep the reader away from the temperamental weather that weâ€™re currently experiencing. Lucia is a great leading lady accompanied by other strong leading ladies and an eager kitten. I loved Luciaâ€™s determination to change the dynamics of the small town and prove that women are just as worthy to be business women, sheâ€™s adamant to bring the town into the 21st century and get rid of the silly traditions and notions. I adored her grandparents, especially her warm and bubbly grandmother whoâ€™s quietly encouraging her grand daughter to make a change. Also interactions with Lucia and Giacomo make for tender and charming reading as the pair of them compete against each other and face up to old ghosts and feelings.
Beautifully written and poignant from the first page, Jo has written another beautiful and heartwarming romantic tale that hooks the reader from the first page. With vivid descriptions of mouth watering recipes and the Italian landscapes, â€˜Chasing The Italian Dreamâ€™ is an inspirational joy to read about one womanâ€™a journey and determination to make a change.
You can pre-order ‘Chasing The Italian Dream’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 10th June 2021.