Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review: The Italian Party by Christina Lynch

Title: The Italian Party
Author: Christina Lynch
Published: March 2018, St. Martin's Press
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

A delicious and sharply funny page-turner about "innocent" Americans abroad in 1950s Siena, Italy. Newly married, Scottie and Michael are seduced by Tuscany's famous beauty. But the secrets they are keeping from each other force them beneath the splendid surface to a more complex view of ltaly, America and each other.

When Scottie's Italian teacher--a teenager with secrets of his own--disappears, her search for him leads her to discover other, darker truths about herself, her husband and her country. Michael's dedication to saving the world from communism crumbles as he begins to see that he is a pawn in a much different game. Driven apart by lies, Michael and Scottie must find their way through a maze of history, memory, hate and love to a new kind of complicated truth.

Half glamorous fun, half an examination of America's role in the world, and filled with sun-dappled pasta lunches, Prosecco, charming spies and horse racing, The Italian Party is a smart pleasure.

My thoughts: Sometimes I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a good cover...and this cover completely won me over. I was drawn to it, plus the title helped...and you know what - this book was just a good, fun read, full of intrigue and secrets and had me longing for more Prosecco than just the little bottle I bought for my Instagram photo (see below)!

I loved the way this book was set up, each chapter broken into little segments that alternated between Scottie and Michael's points of view. This really allowed us to get to know them and right away you find out they are keeping secrets from each other - well, consider me hooked! This newlywed couple has just moved to Siena, Italy, so Michael can open a business. It turns out, that is just a front for what he is really there to do, unbeknownst to his wife.

I fully admit, politics is not usually my area of interest, nor is pure history, but I really enjoyed this book. I found the way the story was told, with the good doses of humor and loads of references to food - OMG was I ever hungry while reading this! - to help tame the political references of communism and the upcoming election kept me engaged and things from being too heavy. I really had no idea that the US had any dealings in Italy and their elections - as I am assuming this is based in part in truth. 

For a debut novel, this one had me captivated and engaged throughout. I found it fun and lively - those characters certainly made for some entertaining reading for sure! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what comes next from Christina Lynch! 

About the author: Christina Lynch’s picaresque journey includes chapters in Chicago and at Harvard, where she was an editor on the Harvard Lampoon. She was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany. In L.A. she was on the writing staff of Unhappily Ever After; Encore, Encore; The Dead Zone and Wildfire. She now lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. She is the co-author of two novels under the pen name Magnus Flyte. She teaches at College of the Sequoias. The Italian Party is her debut novel.

Authors Links: Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook  |   Instagram


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