The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley

The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley
I have had The Italian Girl by Lucinda Riley sitting on my kindle for nearly a year now but I have just never got around to reading it until this week.

I am a big fan of Lucinda Riley with The Midnight Rose being one of my favourite reads of recent times. I know that I like Lucinda’s style of writing and the way she tells her heroine’s story with such skill that they are always a treat to read. I loved The Italian Girl and couldn’t put it down, The story was a lot less complex than some of Riley’s other novels but was no less absorbing.

The book is based around the story of Rosanna Menici a young girl from a run down part of Naples with a precocious talent.

Rosanna Menici is just a girl when she meets Roberto Rossini, the man who will change her life. In the years to come, their destinies are bound together by their extraordinary talents as opera singers and by their enduring but obsessive love for each other – a love that will ultimately affect the lives of all those closest to them. For, as Rosanna slowly discovers, their unison is haunted by irreversible events from the past . . .

Rosanna’s journey takes her from humble beginnings in the back streets of Naples to the glittering stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses. Set against a memorable backdrop of Lucinda Riley’s trademark evocative locations, The Italian Girl unfolds into a poignant and unforgettable tale of love, betrayal and self-discovery.

At the age of 11 she is discovered for her sweet voice and secretly visits a retired opera tutor for a number of years, with her older brother paying for her lessons from the wages he earns in their family café. The story follows the next 20 years as Rosanna and Roberto Rossini’s lives become intertwined.

One of the things I loved was that the lovely village of Lower Slaughter, which is only 2 miles from our village plays a huge part in the story, something I had not been expecting. I loved the local references in the book and how Cheltenham also featured prominently.

The characters in the book are all interesting and you can’t help but become deeply absorbed. I have to admit that I do not know much about opera at all having only been once to see La Boheme. (You can read more about my picnic at Longborough Opera here.) Luckily this was one of the key opera’s in the book so I understood the references to this through the story. If you love opera then I am sure this book would be even more interesting, but even with little or no knowledge of the opera world this is an enjoyable read.

This is a story about love and passion but it reminds that these are not always positive things in our lives. A great read for the holidays or if you are looking for a good back that is enjoyable and easy to read you won’t be disappointed with The Italian Girl.


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