Italian For Beginners – Kristen Harmel

italian for beginnersCat Connelly has always taken care of her family since her mother left.  She has taken care of her younger sister and father for longer then she can remember.  At her sister’s wedding, everyone on her family’s side are talking about how sad it is for the younger sister to be married before Cat.   She is an accountant, she works more than her co workers, and she hasn’t had a vacation in years.

One day, she remembers how much of a good time she had had in her senior year of high school when she travelled to Rome, Italy and met a man and fell in love.  Her father and sister have told her continuously told her to take a break and get away.  Cat doesn’t think she needs to, but then one of her co workers, and an email sent to her one love in Italy, turns the wheels in motion.  She hears back from Francesco, and her co worker books her a ticket, in three days she is off to rekindle her long lost love.

Her family is shocked, but wishes her well on her trip.  The day before, her sister calls with an emergency.  So, Cat helps her out again, and goes to Rome.  Once she arrives, Francesco isn’t his usual self, distracted and quiet.  The next day, she finds out why – Francesco thought it was another girl whose email address was similar to hers.  But, it didn’t turn him off completely.

So, after a horrendous first night in Rome, she goes to a cafe where a friend of a friend works and would have a room for rent for the rest of her stay.

Gina is one of those no holds barred Italian women.  She notices Cat sitting at an outside table and cusses her out.  But then realizes that they both have a mutual friend.  She shows her the room and settles in.  As Cat takes a sleeping pill, and sleeps, Gina bursts into her room to show her the town. From then on it is situation after situation, laughing, love, reunions, and lifelong friends.

I really enjoyed this novel, light, funny, heartbreaking at times, it is the perfect late summer / early fall novel.  Full of adventure, love, family secrets, and a realization from all characters in the novel made it one that you can take from and learn from.  I would definitely recommend it.

Read an excerpt


3 thoughts on “Italian For Beginners – Kristen Harmel

  1. Pingback: End of The Year Post 2009 « Serendipitous Readings

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