Wow, what a cover! It screams Italy. If you look closely you’ll discover the time frame is the 50’s.
Inside the cover: THE ITALIAN PARTY is a sneaky novel, half glamorous fun, half an examination of America’s role in the world. Young newlyweds Scottie and Michael Messina arrive in Siena in 1956 and are seduced by Tuscany’s famous beauty and the sensory experience of a summer in the ancient city. But their reasons for being there-and the secrets they are keeping from each other-force them beneath the beautiful surface to confront a world more complicated than they’d ever imagined.
My husband and I have traveled in Tuscany and fallen in love with it over the years. So when I saw that this new novel is actually set in Siena and the surrounding area, I was onboard completely. Little did I know I would spend time in Rome and Florence and even the ancient town of San Gimignano where we loved seeing artichokes growing wild.
Michael and Scottie are a young couple who land in Siena with a mission. Scottie believes her new husband has been sent by the Ford Motor Company to open an office in Italy to sell tractors. She falls in love with the city of Siena and the countryside of Tuscany. But Michael has a secret , actually he has two, that are just bursting to be told. And, Scottie has a secret of her own, one that has no other option than to be told in a timely manner.
So much history hidden in plain sight. This is a clever, atmospheric story. And the characters have compelling stories themselves. A couple of mysteries keep the pages flying way past bedtime, or mealtime.
Scottie learns Italian from a local teenage boy. And then he is missing. And not to be found. Murdered? Or just missing?
We follow Michael to Rome on his many train trips for his “work.” We find out his Ford storefront is a just that: a front. He’s actually working as a spy. And, no, I’m not giving anything away that you don’t discover early on. But it raises the bar.
Written with humor and peppered with historical information, sizzling with sex, and spiked with political intrigue, THE ITALIAN PARTY has been likened to Patricia Highsmith’s THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY, although I believe it’s found a niche of its own. You will feel yourself transported to the Italian countryside and you’ll enjoy the descriptions of the food and the Italian language that’s sprinkled throughout.
The photo on your right was taken from the window of our ancient hotel in Montalcino, Italy. No screen. Bird sound in the background. Two glasses of Brunnelo to celebrate our arrival in one of the finest and oldest hill towns of Tuscany.
THE ITALIAN PARTY by Christina Lynch is going to be a great book for summer. What a great way to escape to the Tuscan countryside without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Christina Lynch was the Milan correspondent for W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily, and disappeared for four years in Tuscany.
My finished hardcover was supplied by St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. I totally enjoyed it!