This is the perfect holiday read!
Salvio Valentini has the enviable job of being the youngest ever mayor of a small, picturesque town in Southern Italy. Although pretty, and with a close-knit community, Montenello is now far from the once majestic place it once was. It has nothing to draw tourists to it; no attractions or gimmicks. And it’s sadly falling into disrepair, with many of its buildings and former homes left crumbling and empty.
Together with his aging (but tech savvy) right-hand man, Augusto, a plan is concocted to entice outsiders to purchase a home in Montenello for just 1 Euro! T’s & C’s apply – naturally! Surprisingly the advertisement goes viral and thousands of applications come flooding in. After a stringent selection process, a final three are chosen and these hopefuls arrive in Montenello full of hopes and dreams for a new beginning.
Mimi – a ‘Silver Divorcee’ – lonely and afraid to get back into the dating arena, and finding herself unable to quite fit in with the other ‘Silvers’ who seemed to have slipped seamlessly back into single life despite their age.
Elise and Richard – working their fingers to the bone and seeing absolutely no reward for it, and no hope at all to ever being able to buy a decent home for themselves in England, where they’re slogging away.
Richard and Gino – they’ve been together for so long and Richard is starting to feel more than a little anxious at the thought that this is ‘it’ for the rest of their lives, day in and day out. The routine is starting to strangle him.
This book is told from the different points of view of all the protagonists. Their anxieties, their vision for the future and the way their journies play out. The reader is allowed into their lives, and into their hearts and we get to share their joy, their triumph, and their pain … deeply.
But apart from that I also felt like I was right there, in the midst of this beautiful town that was trying to breathe new life again. Pellegrino’s descriptive writing is beautiful and she successfully transports her readers into each and every scene. She’s created characters who are likable and you literally want to imagine them succeeding so that you can see the (imaginary) smiles return to their faces. You want their burdens to ease and their lives to have hope and happiness again. When an author is able to encapsulate all of this effectively within their pages, then you know they have a winner on their hands. That’s what Nicky Pellegrino has here!
4 stars for this uplifting, enjoyable book!
About the author:
Nicky was born and grew up near Liverpool, England. For a while she worked as a magazine journalist in London but then 21 years ago she came on holiday to New Zealand and met her future husband Carne Bidwill at a wedding. Now they live together near a beach in Auckland with the dogs Charlie the standard poodle and Lucy the pointer. She spends her time writing novels, working as a freelance journalist, riding her two horses, growing veggies in her garden, cooking, trying to get other people to cook for her, eating and reading. There isn’t much time for anything else except a little light housework.
Her all-time favourite book is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Thank you to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the blog tour. Look at what these lovely bloggers are saying about A Dream of Italy …