One Summer in Venice by Nicki Pellegrino

This isn’t a mid-life crisis OK? For a start I’m not old enough yet to have one of those. I’m calling it a happiness project. I’ve stolen an entire summer from my life and by the time it’s over I plan to leave this place with a list in my hand. The ten things that make me happy, that’s all I want to know. How difficult can it be? They may be small things – a perfect cup of coffee, a day without rain – or bigger ones. It’s still the beginning so how can I know?

Addolorata Martinelli knows she should be happy. She has everything she thought she wanted – her own business, a husband, a child. So why does she feel as if something is missing? Then when her restaurant, Little Italy, is slated by a reviewer, she realises that she’s lost the one thing she thought she could always count on, her love of food.

So Addolorata heads to Venice for a summer alone, aiming to find the ten things that make her happy. Once she’s found them, she’ll construct a new life around her ten things, but will they include her life in London?


I hadn’t read any books by this author before. It was one of my book club’s choices this month, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I absolutely loved it. It was so easy to read, but so captivating.

The imagery and the descriptions of the lifestyle in Venice were so evocative, it was almost like being there. The main character, Addorolata, is a chef, so food plays a big part in the book. The descriptions of the beautiful food, and all the little rituals surrounding it, which is such a big part of Venetian culture, were wonderful.

I felt she was a little selfish to leave her family for a whole summer to escape to Venice, but it was very interesting to see how she developed as a person because of it. She gets involved with some amazing characters, and we get involved in their lives and secrets.

Very well written, with great depth and a fascinating plot. I’ll be reading more by this author.

MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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