The Great Reading Challenge: A Book Set Somewhere You Want To Go
Fiction: The Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Arnim. Four very different women rent a medieval Italian castle for a month after responding to an ad in a London newspaper. Portofino becomes a place of awakening to the women’s true selves and experiencing unexpected joy. It is a book about the transformative power of travel.
Non-fiction: A Thousand Days in Venice: An Unexpected Romance, Marlena de Blasi. This memoir about love at first sight, with a man de Blasi calls, “the stranger,” is charming and full of sumptuous descriptions of Italian food. Despite the odds of this romance between an American woman and an Italian man with different views on the role of women in society, the relationship blooms and solidifies with the unifying element of food.
Youth: Love & Gelato, Jenna Evans Welch. The dying wish of 16-year-old Lina’s mother was for her daughter to live in Tuscany and get to know her father, Howard, whom Lina has never met or heard about. Upon her arrival in Italy, Lina receives a diary that belonged to Lina’s mother. The diary and the handsome neighbour, Ren, help Lina deal with the reality of her mother’s death and heal from the anger of her mother’s secret. Her father provides the space for Lina’s inner quest to find happiness.