From Italy With Love by Jules Wake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From Italy With Love is an amazing book. I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and I can honestly say I loved it. From Italy With Love is the story of Laurie Browne, an adult woman who has been living a half-life without even realizing it. The book starts with Laurie and her boyfriend, Robert, attending her Uncle Miles' funeral where she first sees Cam, a good friend of her Uncle. We learn that something went wrong with Laurie's life and her relationship to her family members. Laurie then receives a classic Ferrari from Miles as an inheritance and the story takes on this beauty of armchair travel across Europe as Laurie follows the stipulations in Miles' will that she follow a specific route and end in a specific Italian town, the birthplace of the Ferrari. Cam is tasked with assisting her in the drive to Italy.
As From Italy With Love goes along we are given a detailed description of beautiful towns, shops and cafes as well as people. The reader has a treat in following along with Laurie and Cam as they make their way through France, Switzerland and an even bigger treat when Laurie goes on to Italy. There were also some colorful people met along the way. We also learn the history of what happened with Laurie's family and how she ended up a "homebody" at such a young age. We also learn more about Laurie's history with her boyfriend Robert. I had some negative thoughts about a portion of the story that relates to Laurie's relationship with Robert and Cam, but it is a large part of the story and I don't want to spoil it for other readers. But, I will say that my negative thoughts were lessened by the end of the book. I do not like what occurred but it did not make me throw my Kindle across the room and it certainly was not something that lessened my regard for the book. That is the mark of a good author I think. When the author can engage the reader, challenge them with topics that are contentious and still deliver it in such a way that the reader wants to leave the experience. From Italy With Love gives us a great romance not only in Laurie's life but also continued romance over and over with anyone that came in contact with the classic Ferrari, sometimes to the point where it was quite funny. But, the best experience with From Italy With Love was watching Laurie grow as a person and a woman because though she was loved greatly by her father, he could not teach her how to be a female or help her grow as a woman and she had no real female role model. I am now an avid fan of Jules Wake and look forward to going back and reading more of her work and seeing what else she releases in the future.