About the book, One Summer in Sicily
- Publisher : Aria; 1st edition (June 8, 2023)
- Publication date : June 8, 2023
- Print length: 347 pages
A new fun and fresh rom-com set in Sicily by Canadian-Italian author Nancy Barone.
In an attempt to resuscitate her twenty-five-year-old marriage, aerophobic Gillian Dobson knocks down a few tranquilisers and takes a dreaded flight to the Sicilian Island of Lipari to surprise her husband, away on a business trip. But her troubles are just about to begin…
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About the author, Nancy Barone
Nancy Barone grew up in Canada, but at the age of 12 her family moved to Italy. Catapulted into a world where her only contact with the English language was her old Judy Blume books, Nancy became an avid reader and a die-hard romantic. Nancy stayed in Italy and, despite being surrounded by handsome Italian men, she married an even more handsome Brit. They now live in Sicily where she teaches English.
Nancy is a member of the RWA and a keen supporter of the Women’s Fiction Festival at Matera where she meets up once a year with writing friends from all over the globe.
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I always love a novel where the protagonist isn’t a twenty-something girl with very little life experience. In Gillian Dobson, the lead character of One Summer in Sicily, author Nancy Barone has given us a brilliantly flawed, mature (but not old) woman. Married for twenty years, she visits Sicily to surprise her husband only to find that the surprise is on her, and it’s not a happy one.
Subsequently we get to see Gillian, who already conquered aerophobia to get to Sicily in the first place, deal with all the issues women deal with when they are in transition: self-esteem, body image, loneliness. While she challenges herself to conquer these issues, it’s the journey that makes the story, and author Barone has crafted an excellent plot.
I enjoyed the language choices the author used, and the way Sicily seemed like a character in the novel. rather than merely a setting. I liked Gillian, and rooted for her. But, speaking as someone who is about to turn 53, forty is not old, especially in today’s world, and the younger woman (the surprise she finds her husband with) is only a few years younger – in her mid thirties. Making Gillian truly middle-aged – mid forties to mid fifties – and/or making the younger woman significantly younger would have given the story more impact and made Gillian even more sympathetic.
Over all, though, this was a satisfying read, and I will happily read more of Barone’s work.
Goes well with: espresso and a cannoli with citron.