Book review: One Italian Summer

One Italian Summer

Catherine Mangan

Little Brown

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

This book felt a bit like reading a recipe on an internet blog, lot’s of uninteresting narrative before you get to the good bits.

It tells the story of Lily, who travels to the secluded Italian island of Ischia. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t worry because that’s what the book seemed mostly about – how awesome Ischia is yet no one seems to have heard of it.

The island is the venue for her best friend’s wedding but a few weeks before she leaves, Lily and her wealthy boyfriend break up.

Heartbroken and debt-ridden, from trying to keep up with his extravagant tastes, Lily is forced to pay for the holiday by herself.

Things surely can’t get any worse, right? Well, it does, but if I tell any more of the story I may just end up telling you all of the rather skimpy plot.

Interspersed between the bits of Lily’s quickly shattering life are long descriptions of Ischia’s beauty and food.

The descriptive narrative is broken by dialogues between Lily and her four friends – all of which felt the same to me: Kitty flirts, Ellen complains, Morgan micromanages, Dee tries to keep the spirits up, and Lily stresses.

The dialogue narrative is broken by smatterings of romance and mild plot twists.

I’m not a big fan of chick lit and maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy this one.

I found the characters one-dimensional and the drama underwhelming but if you like easy-reading chick lit, dressed up with travel and food, then you may like this book.

● To win a copy of One Italian Summer, email your name, phone number and the area where you live to before midnight on Sunday September 25. Put “One Italian Summer” in the subject line.