Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Villa Girls by Nicky Pellegrino - A Gentle Story, Full of Italian Sunshine and Warmth

The Villa Girls wasn't on my Summer Reading List this year, but it was on my bookshelf! I've had it some time because I loved Recipe for Life and The Italian Wedding which I have reviewed here and here, and it has links to both: The Villa Rosa in this one is the same as in Recipe for Life, and, Addolorata features in The Italian Wedding as she is the sister of Pieta, the girl who makes wedding dresses.
The other reason I read it is I love reading about Italy!
The story is told from from two points of view: Rosie, in the first person and Enzo, in the third with alternate chapters telling their stories, and I particularly liked Addolorata's comments and thoughts about Rosie at the end of each of her chapters too.
Not Triento, but enough pink villas for anyone!
The novel is set somewhere in the seventies or eighties; there are no mobile phones or any email, and life is lived at a slower pace. Rosie is coming to terms with her parents' death in England and, in Italy, Enzo Santi is growing up in privilege on his parents' olive farm. (I now know a lot about olive farming, having read this and The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas which I reviewed here!)
She becomes part of the Villa Girls when she goes on holiday with Addolorata, Lou and Toni to a villa in Majorca, and they like it so much that they rent the Villa Rosa in Triento and meet Enzo. But Rosie's fledgling holiday romance is shattered when Toni discovers what the Santi family have been hiding in their barn.
This is a gentle story, full of Italian sunshine and warmth, which follows Rosie and Enzo through the years. Will the promise of true love come true for them despite all the problems they have to surmount?

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