Tag Archives: set in Italy

Book Review: From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

Summary: Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II.
As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.
Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.
But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.

My Review:

I admit, I struggle with anything holocaust related. I can find an amazing book and not read it because I know one of the characters is going to be tortured in the concentration camps. I struggle with reading because honestly how often do those books have a happy ending and it is hard reading something that happened to so many, even if the book is fictional.

This book was beautifully written. I have never read Amy Harmon but based on the many glowing reviews I suspect I should add her to my rotation of authors I read. This story was engrossing from the first page. Her writing propelled me into Nazi occupied Italy and I couldn’t put the book down.

The love between the two main characters was so forbidden so powerful and so remarkable that I am pretty positive I will think of this book for a very long time.

If you have not read this book you should even if it is a genre you typically don’t read, it is a very powerful tale of forbidden love during one of the darkest times of humanity and will stay with me a very long time.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

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Summary: “I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

My Review:  I am in absolute love with this book.  This book was a book that had me turning page after page thanks to her mom’s journal and me wanting to know the outcome.   This book was such a sweet book and I am in love with it.  It has me practically gushing to the point that I almost wonder if in December it will be one of my favorites read of the year.

Lina is an amazing character she has the right amount of complexity for a character and she behaves how you would expect a person to behave after loosing her mother.  Ren was adorable at least how I imagine Ren to be.   The story is set in Florence which is a romantic back drop that will make you want to pack a suitcase and book a flight to Florence immediately.

Plus the story has a mysterious element surrounding Lina’s mother’s journal.  It is a story within a story that adds so much depth and charm to this novel.  I have never read a book by this author and in fact I believe this might be a debut.  I can tell you one thing though I will read this author from now on thanks to this amazingly charming book that will make you remember what it is like to be young and fall in love.

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Staked by Kevin Hearn (Iron Druid Chronicles #8)

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Summary: When a druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he’s bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers—led by power-mad pain-in-the-neck Theophilus—have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It’s time to make a stand.

As always, Atticus wouldn’t mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ornery archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: Turns out when you stiff a troll, it’s not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki’s mark and elude his powers of divination—a quest that will bring her face-to-face with several Slavic nightmares.

As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won’t come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend

First let me say I love how the Iron Druid chronicles take you ALL over the world within 300 pages. Second I freaking love LOVE LOVE this series. I can’t get enough of this series. I love how much this book makes you turn page after page, and if you listen to it on audio like I do… you will love Oberon. 🙂 If you have not read the previous 7 books I recommend you get started. This book has my stamp of approval but I don’t want to review it for fear of spoilers but go read it… stat.

Eat Pray Love

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Set in: Italy, India and Indonesia
Summary: At a crossroads in her life, Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) travels to Italy, India and Bali to discover meaning and happiness in this inspiring true story, based on the best-selling book.

I read the book prior to watching the movie. I liked the book a lot, but I did love the movie. I am a visual person and seeing Italy, India AND Indonesia is way better than reading about them. I just can’t wait until I physically get to experience all three.

One of the things that made this movie fantastic is that it is a true story, Elizabeth Gilbert said it F it and took off to find herself in three countries that challenged her in different ways. I have some serious respect for anyone that does that.

Doing just that is a huge dream for me and believe me someday I will do just that but not this year, this year for some stupid reason I decided to get “checked” out health wise… so dumb but hey at least I will be able to finally see when I go to Italy.

What I loved about this movie (and the book essentially) is that each destination brought new challenges and perseverance. Plus before I watched this movie Indian terrified me and I never had any desire to go to India. Now I will go and can’t wait to go.

This is another movie with bad reviews but it is still a great movie to inspire wanderlust, or watch from home when you are totally depressed you can’t go anywhere.

Did you like Eat, Pray, Love?